Monday, November 28, 2011

Post Match: KCB (A)

Leopards drew 0-0 with KCB in the final match of the season.

Fred Maingi of Supersport reported:-
AFC Leopards were held to a barren draw by stubborn Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in another entertaining KPL tie staged at the Nairobi City Stadium.

Following the draw, Leopards finish the season in fifth place on 46 points while KCB end teh season in ninth on 40. 

It was Mike Barasa’ last match before leaving for Malaysia but he was unable to consolidate his scoring prowess. He finished second with 11 goals behind Ulinzi Stars Stephen Waruru who ended with 12. 

AFC Leopards started the match strongly with their strikers led by Barasa, Oscar Kadenge, Francis Chinjili and Charles Okwemba giving KCB defenders hectic moments with goalkeeper Caleb Adola making several acrobatic saves. 

Timothy Olubulu of Kenyanstar reports that Mike Baraza got a farewell gift:-
AFC Leopards striker Mike Barasa was awarded with a hen as a gift from AFC Leopards fans, playing his last match for the team before he departs to Malaysia where he has signed a contract with a top Malaysian club.

The fans awarded Barry as they have come to christen him with the award for helping them rise to fifth position in the league standings and for the six goals he has scored for them

Speaking to Kenyanstar after the match, Barasa expressed his gratitude to the fans adding that he will miss them when he goes to Malaysia.

"I felt really happy and it was an honor for me. I will always treasure AFC fans wherever I go", he told Kenyanstar.

Barasa will travel to Nakuru later in the evening to spend the night with his family before flying out to Malaysia on Sunday evening.

At the same time, AFC Leopards players gave away thheir jerseys to fans after their barren draw with KCB and signed signatures for the supporters. Mike Barasa was whisked away by security after the number of fans overwhelmed him.

AFC Leopards have finished 5th in the league standings bettering their performance last year and coach Jan Koops and the crop of players signed in June have contributed to the success.

2Ulinzi Stars30169538201857
4Gor Mahia30121262722548
5AFC Leopards30137103627946
6Sony Sugar30135123333044
8Chemelil Sugar30101193027341
10Thika United30116133639-339
11Western Stima30910112128-737
12Mathare United30713103235-334
13Karuturi Sports30810121928-934
14City Stars3087152834-631
16Congo United3055201852-3420

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pre Match: KCB (A)

Leopards end the season with an away match to KCB at City Stadium.

James Wokabi of Supersport predicts a 2-0 victory:-

AFC Leopards will look to end their season on a high when they face KCB at City Stadium.

Ingwe have the longest unbeaten record in the league stretching back to July when they lost 3-1 to Gor Mahia. Since then Jan Koops has masterminded an impressive climb that has seen them win seven and draw five matches pushing their way into the top five with 45 points. 

A win over KCB coupled with a Gor Mahia loss to Sofapaka would actually see them finish ahead of their archrivals- a feat considered near impossible at the halfway stage of the season.
They will have top striker Mike Barasa back from suspension. 

They face a KCB side that has had another up and down season. League leaders or thereabouts for most of the first leg, their second leg has been crazy two wins and nine losses! 

KCB though a good record against Leopards having lost only twice in their last five matches and won the first leg 1-0 and have an eye on a top eight finish. 

Prediction: 0-2

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Post Match: Ulinzi (H)

Leopards beat Ulinzi 1-0 courtesy of a second minute goal by Jonas Nahimana.

James Wokabi of Supersport reports:-

AFC Leopards placed a huge dent on Ulinzi Stars’ quest to defend their league title with a gritty 1-0 victory over the soldiers at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Jonas Nahimana scored the all important goal in the second minute heading home a Charles Okwemba corner to give Leopards the points that saw them climb upto fourth on the log with 45 points. 

Three points behind league leaders Tusker but with two games in hand, the soldiers went into the game looking to close the gap on the brewers but were met by an obdurate Leopards side that simply refused to yield. 

The home side got off to the perfect start as Nahimana found space in the crowded penalty area to nod home Okwemba’s set piece past goalkeeper Jacktone Odhiambo as the Ulinzi defence went to sleep. 

The goal seemed to blow the wind out of Ulinzi’s sails and they were unable to get going for the rest of the half. 

Jimmy Bageya had a great chance to make it 2-0 on 36 minutes after a slick exchange of passes between Francis Chinjili and Salim Khamis created a chance for him but he shot straight at the keeper. 

Ulinzi were much better after the break but were unable to find create clear cut chances. The army men dominated possession but back to walls defending by Ingwe kept them at bay. 

If anything, Leopards had chances to go further ahead with Bageya seeing a well struck freekick saved by Odhiambo on 65 minutes. Seven minutes later, Bernard Mang’oli forced Odhiambo to another vital stop.

Despite late pressure, the soldiers could not find a way past as they succumbed to their second loss in five games. 

Ulinzi next play Chemelil on Saturday in their third last match of the season. 

Futaa reports through Patrick Korir about the blackout that temporarily halted the match:-
The second of a double header tie between AFC Leopards and Ulinzi Stars has had to be stopped temporarily as the lights went out just after nine minutes into the game that kicked off at 1930 hrs on Wednesday 16 November 2011 from the Nyayo National stadium.

The black out lasted 11 minutes causing anxiety to fans attending the game but returned 11 minutes later – at 1950 hrs to allow the game to continue. The game, unless hit by another blackout, is expected to conclude at 2130 hrs, or there about. 

The game kicked off soon after the first game on the day ended with Sofapaka squeezing past Chemelil Sugar 3-2 in a game that kicked off at 1730 hrs.

By the time of the blackout, AFC Leopards led the champs 1-0 courtesy of a first minute goal by defender Jonas Nahimana. 

The scenario of lights out is exactly what the match commissar of the Kenya – Seychelles 2014 World Cup pre-qualifier on Tuesday 15 November feared if the game had kicked off at 1800 hrs instead of 1600hrs under natural light. 

For lack of a functional generator at the stadium, the game had to kick off at its originally scheduled time of 1600 hrs. 

Dennis Machio of MichezoAfrika reports:-

A second minute goal by Jonas Naimana was enough for impressive AFC Leopards to shoot down defending Champions and this seasons Kenyan Premier League contenders Ulinzi Stars. The win lifts Ingwe to an enviable 4th slot on the league standings with 5 points after 29 matches. Gor Mahia is 5th with 44 points but have a match against Rangers on Thursday.

The loss to Ulinzi is disastrous to their title campaign as their chances of getting even with Tusker at the helm of the league table went up in flames. The soldiers however still have an edge since they have played a match less than current leaders Tusker. The result makes the mathematics at the top more interesting and pushes  the title contention to the wire.

The floodlit match on Wednesday had to be stopped temporarily as power went off at Nyayo Stadium but the issue was resolved thus allowing the match to proceed on smoothly. 

With only two minutes played Jonas Naimana headed in a Charles Okwemba corner to burrow in the lone goal of the match and scoop maximum points for a hard working Ingwe.

In the absence of lead striker Mike Baraza, Francis Chinjili and Jimmy Bageya had the duty of leading Ingwe’s firing machines.In the 34th minute the combination between the two almost resulted in a second but Bagaye misfired from close range as Ulinzi tumbled trying to find their footing.

Ulinzi tried a late comeback in the second half with better display than their hosts but it was AFC who almost got the second through Jimmy Bagaye and Bernard Mang’oli though both attempts were stopped by Jacktone Odhiambo in Ulinzi’s posts as Ingwe sneaked into the top territory with maximum points.

Coach Jans Wephukulu was a happy man after the match and chose to focus on celebrating the win rather than his team’s chances as they only have one fixture left to play this season against KCB. One thing is for sure for the Ingwe republicans-They will play in the next season’s Top 8 tournament thanks to the Dutchman's magic.

Supersport has another report on the Dutchman.

AFC Leopards coach Jan Koops said defensive organisation was key to their 1-0 victory over Ulinzi Stars on Wednesday.

Jonas Nahimana scored the winner as the 13 time league champions notched a hard fought win over the soldiers to complete a rare double over the soldiers and derail their title defence march.

“In the team meeting back at the hotel, we discussed about what to do when our opponent had the ball and how to keep our shape because we had the energy to keep up with them.”

“We also attacked with two strikers and tried to play one twos because even though they are a very strong side, Ulinzi do not like to keep the ball,” he added.

He would however not be drawn into whether the win had proved that Leopards will challenge for the title, “Let us first celebrate today, as to what will happen next year, we will wait to see.”

His Ulinzi counterpart Benjamin Nyangweso promised that they would bounce back from the setback.

“In football, you accept the results and today they have won. We still have three matches left and i believe we are still in the title hunt. This is just the way the game goes. Just because you lose today does not mean you can’t win the next game so we still have a chance.

The soldiers have three games to go to the end of the season. They face Chemelil in Nakuru on Saturday before travelling back to Nairobi to take on Sofapaka. Ulinzi will end their campaign with a home fixture against Rangers on November 26.

2Ulinzi Stars29159535201554
4Gor Mahia29121162722547
5AFC Leopards29136103627945
7Sony Sugar29125123032-241
8Chemelil Sugar29101093027340
10Thika United29115133538-338
11Western Stima2999112027-736
12Mathare United2971393132-134
13Karuturi Sports29810111824-634
15City Stars2977152433-928
16Congo United2955191851-3320

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pre Match: Ulinzi (H)

After the Harambee Stars heroics, the Standard introduces the penultimate round against Ulinzi:-

KPL champions Ulinzi Stars coach Benjamin Nyangweso is wary of AFC Leopards’ threat ahead of their crucial midweek clash this evening at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The Ulinzi-Leopards match will be the second action of the day, on a day when local football enthusiasts will be treated to a double header, the first fixture being a crunch tie between 2009 champions Sofapaka and giant killers Chemelil Sugar from 5:30pm.

The soldiers are second in the table but only three points shy of leaders Tusker and with four matches to go, having two matches in hand and Nyangweso is well aware of the importance of today’s match. He will be seeking to hand Dutch coach Jaan Koops his second league defeat since he joined Leopards, a feat Nyangweso believes would not be easy.

Leopards have not been beaten in their last 11 league matches, their last league loss being a 3-1 loss to arch rivals Gor Mahia on July 24 and will be keen to spoil the party for Ulinzi.
"Leopards have been enjoying a good run in their league campaign and I am sure they will not give us an easy time. They beat us 1-0 in the first leg in Nakuru and they have improved a lot since then. I can say they have a better side than the one that beat us in the first leg so we expect a tough match," said Nyangweso.

He added: "In the first leg we created very many chances but failed to convert them, while they only had a single chance and capitalised on it. Their goalkeeper Barnabas Tiema was in world-class form in our first leg meeting and thwarted all our attempts, but we learned from our mistakes and we will go for early goals."

Leopards’ team manager Bernard Onyango said the team was in a fine form and promised fans of a thrilling clash. "The players have been showing a lot of commitment in training and they are keen to win the remaining fixtures to end the season on a high. We will only be missing the services of our top striker Mike Barasa who was sent off in our 4-0 win over Congo United, but I believe we have worthy replacements."

Burly striker Francis Chinjili is said to have postponed celebrations of his birthday, from on Tuesday, as he plans to celebrate it today with a win against the champions. Leopards are sixth on the table with 42 points.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Some Gracious Miracle?

It is that season again at our beloved team AFC Leopards  Sports Club when schemes and counter schemes characterize the behind the scenes moves for the control of the club.

Ingwe Fan is usually neutral to such schemes and usually tells it as it is without seeking to push the agenda for anyone. That is what keeps this blog going. The knowledge that each Fan at our team has a say in the workings of the team.

Now for a quick recap.

Earlier in the year, there were chaotic scenes witnessed as the club went through elections and more elections coupled with court actions from left right and centre. The regime of Julius Ochiel was meant to have elections in December 2010 but instead, the then Secretary General, Robert Asembo was suspended and replaced by Catherine Omanyo. Asembo nonetheless went ahead to call elections.

Ochiel went to court to stop the Annual General Meeting and elections called by his suspended Sec Gen. Ochiel got a temporary order that stopped the elections and in January the court gave its ruling in the matter. And the court dismissed the Ochiel case which made Asembo call elections immediately

These elections descended into a farce as both Winstone Kituyi and Alex Ole Magelo claimed victory. Ochiel had stayed out of these elections.

Amanyo then called other elections which were to be attended by Ochiel this time.

Mumias Sugar then came in as the sponsor and asked the parties to sort out the mess and have all inclusive elections. An electoral board chaired by Gordon Oluoch was constituted and in its attempts to hold elections, it failed when the elections were marred by violence and disruption of voting. 

Oluoch sought the views of the Registrar General on who would now lead the club as the Annual General Meeting that had preceded the aborted elections had ‘dissolved’ the Ochiel administration.

The Registrar General initially okayed an interim body to run the club and call for elections but seemed to dither later when confronted by some Football Kenya rules that were seemingly forbidding interim officials to run the club. The club was groping in the dark, to quote the headline of this blog back then!

The plea that the persons who were interested in the positions at the club should be motivated by adoration for club (AFC) was seemingly not heeded that shameful day when violence hit the elections. 

You could read about the moments of confusion here.

In the end, a snap election was held which was attended only by Magelo who won unopposed in rather controversial circumstances.

Some fans allied to the Ochiel group went to court challenging this election and had to wait until October for the ruling to be delivered! The court stated that it was not in the interest of the club to interfere with the current position of the officials. You can read the whole ruling here

Other intricacies had taken place. Josphert Bukachi, the Secretary General to Magelo had been suspended or resigned (it wasn’t clear which!) and some other officials had also stepped aside (being Antony Walela and Geoffrey Mulanya). In fact, in some twist of irony, by the time the ruling above was being delivered, Mulanya’s law firm was acting for the Club defending the regime of Magelo in the case though he himself had before the ruling seemingly differed with Magelo!

With the case having gone in Magelo’s favour, he moved to consolidate control with the confidence of the court’s approval of his regime by moving to amend the constitution.

The process started was accelerated and a Special General Meeting was called for 13th November 2011 whose sole agenda was to move the motions for the adoption of the new constitution.

But just like last year, the suspended Secretary General rushed to issue a notice for an Annual General Meeting that was set for 27th November 2011. 

The Registrar was at sixes and sevens having approved this notice for the AGM only to retract it the following day when confronted with reports of the suspension. 

It seems that the Leopards never changes its spots or learns for the mistakes of previous years!

In late 2009, a similar incident had occurred with the suspended Secretary General Micah Luvutse calling an Annual General Meeting that ushered in Ochiel to the chagrin of the person who thought he was the acting Secretary General at that time Richard Ekhalie.
So here we are folks, going through a third successive year with an ‘Acting Secretary General’ at the club.

A summary of some of the key provisions that are being introduced in our club is as follows:-

    Membership categories will be changed from ordinary and life to ordinary and super.
    Membership fees will be increased to Kshs. 1,200 per year for ordinary members and Kshs. 12,000 for super members.
    Members seeking elective posts will have to pay application fees to the club with those seeking Chairmanship paying half a million shillings, Secretary General and Treasurer paying two hundred thousand shillings amongst others.
    Creation of the post of Chief Executive Officer
    Explicitly creates branch network
    Explicitly creates an Electoral Board made up of nominees from the top 5 branches

From the above, one would have thought that with these recurring problems, the club would have looked at the root cause of why we are always having a Secretary General who clashes with the Chairman. Instead, this doesn’t seem to have been quite addressed in the proposed constitution. It would have made sense if the proposed Constitution had set out to make Leopards a really stable club that doesn’t have conflicts within its Executive Committee.

One suggestion that Ingwe Fan has come across, is the one that has been adopted by the ruling soccer body in the country, Football Kenya federation who decided to do away with the position of the Secretary General in its National Executive Committee. This has left just the Chairman, the Vice Chair and eight Executive Committee members.

Perhaps Leopards should also have gone that way to have a Chairman, a Vice Chairman and eight Executive Committee members together with a Chief Executive Officer so that the Executive Committee is composed on eleven members. That would eliminate the conflicts between a Secretary General and the Chairman or the CEO.

One would have wished that a legal representative of the club would have spearheaded the process, but perhaps in order to save on funds, the club deemed it otherwise and let the consultant and ‘branches’ as loosely defined currently to come up with the document.

Having said that, it has been argued before that the current constitution was not being followed by the successive regimes. The proposed constitution has retained most provisions that were there in the old constitution which were not being followed! This include:-

    Appointment of an auditor at each Annual General Meeting
    Appointment of the three Trustees of the Club
    Availability of books of account and members register for inspection

Some of the shocking revelations that have been divulged by former EC members about the way the club was being run give one the impression that the saying that the club is being run like a village team or worse is not far from the truth!

The proposed constitution for instance states that an SGM has to be called with notice in the daily newspapers! It was not lost on observers that whereas the ‘suspended’ Secretary General could place an advert in a leading newspaper, the club itself could not place an advert in the newspaper for the SGM preferring to do everything only by its website.

Issues such as the procedure for calling for meetings have to be practiced whether the proposed constitution is adopted or not. The spirit of the constitution needs to be enforced. Constitutionalism which has been lacking at the club needs to be adopted.

It has already raised some eyebrows the way the SGM was called with some persons wondering whether there was a rush or whether the club is putting the cart before the horse. What is clear though is that if the ‘members’ who attend will vote for the ratification of the constitution, the club will need to adopt a new members register an those ‘members’ who will have voted will need to pay a sum of Kshs. 1,200 to be new members of the club.

We wish the club the best at the Special General Meeting and may the good intentions win rather than the self driven intentions. May the spirit of constitutionalism be inculcated in the ‘members’ and in those who run our club so that we stop this charade once and for all!

If not, we shall continue with the needless wrangling which will hinder the progress of the club. Hopefully the SGM tomorrow lives up to its billing and ‘some gracious miracle’ (SGM) visits the hearts of those who think the club is an arena to play political games.

God bless AFC Leopards Sports Club!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Post Match: Congo Utd (H)

Leopards beat Congo Utd 4-0   at Mumias.

Futaa reported:-

Congo United have officially been sent packing from the premier league after succumbing to a  0-4 demolishing by AFC Leopards. 

The AFC side who were playing at home, in Mumias, went on a rampage from the word go, with striker Jimmy Bageya opening the scoresheet with a first minute goal.  

The dumb-founded Congo tried to compose themselves but Francis Chinjili sent them back reeling in shock scoring AFC’s second goal in the tenth minutes.

In the 15th Captain Rama Salim, who was recently dropped from the national team, took matters to his hands and marshaled his team towards the AFC goal but their efforts ended in a missed shot.

It proved reaping day for Jimmy Bageya who in 26th minute combined forces with Francis Chinjili and Bernard Mangoli, to round Congo custodian Suleiman Mwasiri and slot in an easy third goal for the home side.

The marauding Leopards were back on the scoresheet again, two minutes later as the Chinjili-Bageya duo exchanged clean to-and-fro passes to striker Mangoli, with the later impressing with the teams fourth.

Rama Salim was arguably Congo’s player of the day as his solo and assisted efforts gave AFC Keeper Patrick Matasi a job for the day, with an attempt in the 31st and 40th minutes.

The match went into the half-time break after two minutes of added time. 

Mike Baraza, who had returned to the team after weeks of injury, took up Chinjili’s position, in readiness for the second half, with fans jubilating at his entry.

Coming out of the lockers, the Congo side appeared to have received a shot of stabilizing medicine, as they gave the Leopards a run for their money.

Striker Mike Baraza's had an impressive start in the second half, with a number of breaks deep into the Congo half. However, his showing was cut short when he was handed a red-card in the 74th minute. Baraza had made his way into the Congo box but he was tackled before he could cause any harm. The referee decided that no foul had been committed and ordered that the game rolls on.

A disappointed Baraza, who believed he was going to get a penalty went after the referee angrily lodging his claims.

A yellow card was slapped on his face but that did not keep him back as he continued his heated debate with the first official.

With the referee's nerves stretched beyond limit, he pulled out a red and gave Baraza his marching orders.

The Leopards were forced to restrategize as they were forced to play the rest of the game, one-man short.

A fall-back into the defense ensured that the score remained at 4-0 to push AFC up one spot on the log to land at the sixth position.

MichezoAfrika gave the lineup as follows:-

AFC vs Congo : AFC Leopards starting XI: Patrick Matasi,Wafula,Siongo,Martin Imbalambala,Jonas Paco,Bernard Mangoli,Oscar Kadenge,Salim Kinje,Francis Chinjili,Jimmy Bagaye,Laurent Tumba

KPL standings

2Ulinzi Stars26149331161551
4Gor Mahia28111162421344
6AFC Leopards28126103527842
7Chemelil Sugar27101072720740
8Thika United28115123537-238
9Sony Sugar28115122732-538
11Western Stima2898111724-735
12Mathare United2871292829-133
13Karuturi Sports2889111723-633
14City Stars2877142430-628
16Congo United2855181850-3220

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pre Match: Congo Utd (H)

Leopards take on Congo United today at 3pm at Mumias Sports Complex.

Congo have been virtually relegated and a defeat at Leopards today will seal their fate. The team has had some financial problems and even sent only 14 players for the trip.

According to MichezoAfrika

After a week long anxiety and confusion in the Congo United camp regarding their Kenya Premier League fixture against AFC Leopards, a 14 man squad departed Mombasa for Mumias town on Thursday evening.

The team manager Arif Bhagazal said that they were forced to cut on numbers of traveling players as they had a fixed budget.  “The amount we had was to cater for 18 players in Nairobi. but now that Leopards has taken the game to Mumias, we can only cut on numbers as we cant source extra funds,” he added.

Bhagazal also blamed the mess on host team, AFC, for taking the game to western Kenya a distance of over 800 kilometers away from Mombasa knowing that “we have money problems.”

Congo United had threatened to boycott the match citing the long distance from Mombasa to the western town of Mumias. They had complained of financial difficulties and that it would be almost impossible to send the team to honor the match. However in a surprise turn around, a 14 man playing unit left Mombasa on Thursday evening for Mumias.

The coastal club, propping the KPL table from the bottom, has had financial problems with the team owners sending out a passionate appeal for funds. The club Vice chairman Evans Mzungu revealed how running a team is a costly affair. “We spend almost a million shillings on players’ salary per month and sometimes it becomes harsh for us to settle the bills in time,” he said.

The team will be hoping to put aside their financial woes as they face a hungry AFC Leopards side that haven’t won a match in their last three matches collecting three points out of possible nine. The Mumias Sugar-sponsored Leopards have been training at the company’s grounds in Mumias and will be praying that they translate the pitch familiarity into goals.

As the league draws to completion, Congo united are fast losing any hope of staying up especially after City Stars posting impressive results and their neighbors  Bandari returning a rare win. If they lose over the weekend, they can as well say goodbye to top flight football as they can’t dislodge Bandari from the 15th position. 

Carol Radull predicts a 2-0 victory for Leopards.