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AFC LEOPARDS IN MORE TROUBLE: Ingwe hit with Sh13.5m bill for dismissal of league players

FOOTBALL By Gilbert Wandera | June 15th 2016
AFC fan ponders the next move after his team lost to Mathare United in the Kenya Power Charity Cup on 2-01-2014 at Nyayo Stadium. Photo/DENNIS OKEYO

Former Kenyan Premier League champions AFC Leopards are in trouble after they were handed a Sh13.5million demand for ‘illegally’ releasing eight players.

The club was given until Friday to pay the eight players their salary arrears of Sh2.1 million. At the same time, they could pay another Sh11.4 million as damages for wrongful dismissal.

Last month, Leopards released Solomon Nasio, Khalid Jumaan, Eugine Musilwa, Mata Clement, Kevin Aketch, Simon Shikuku, Emmanuel Onyancha and Daniel Kiptoo, but failed to follow the laid down procedures.

After their dismissal, the players took up the matter with the Kenya Football Welfare Association (KEFWA), who lodged the matter with the the Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC).

According to KEFWA chairman Innocent Mutiso, AFC Leopards did not follow the laid down rules and ought to pay the players damages.

“Their contracts are very clear in regard to sacking a player. You have to give them a one-month notice and thereafter, follow it up with a termination letter. They just terminated their services without issuing a notice and as a result, we are demanding that they be compensated for the remainder of their contracts.

“We have tabled a demand of Sh11.4 million to cover for the damages and we are happy the IDCC agreed with us and ordered the club to pay Sh2.1 million as salary arrears by Friday, where a ruling on the damages will be made,” said Mutiso.

He added that KEFWA would not watch as players’ rights were trampled upon and would do everything to ensure contracts are respected.

The association, said Mutiso, was also taking up a matter regarding the rushed dismissal of players by Muhoroni Youth.

“The affected players have come to us and we are finalising with the paper work before we appear before the IDCC,” he said.

AFC Leopards co-chairman Mathews Opwora admitted that they did not follow the procedure in releasing the players and had no choice but to pay.

“Some of us did not follow the procedure while releasing the players, so we have been ordered to pay Sh2.1 million as salary arrears,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhoroni Youth goalkeeper Faroukh Sikhalo has been suspended for this weekend’s return KPL Top-8 semi-final match against Ulinzi Stars.

Sikhalo picked a yellow card in the first leg match that ended in a barren draw last Sunday, which ruled him out of the return match.

Apart from Sikhalo, KPL has warned 11 players that they risked missing the Top-8 final should they pick yellow cards this weekend.

The 11 players are Gor Mahia’s Eric Ouma, Ernest Wendo and Amos Nondi.

Also in the list is Muhoroni Youth’s quartet of Moses Arita, Yusuf Mohamed, Paul Muchika and Wycliffe Nyangechi, as well as Tusker FC’s duo of Collins Shivachi and Noah Wafula.

Others are Boniface Onyango and Geoffrey Kokoyo of Ulinzi Stars.

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