Monday, May 21, 2012

Mid Season Review

It is mid season and save for one match between Leopards and Sony which has not been played, the half season is done and dusted.

Leopards emerged third and have the potential to go second if they beat Sony in thew rescheduled match and finish with thirty points. Currently, the leopards are stuck on 27 points, one behind Tusker and five behind leaders Sofapaka.

The results of the first leg can be summarised as follows:-

The Leopards have so far played eight matches away and six at home. Technically this means the leopards have played more matches away than at home.

However, out of the fourteen matches played so far, eight have been played at Nyayo National Stadium, the putative home of the Leopards with two matches played at Mumias Sugar another adopted home of the Leopards whilst the match against Tusker was also played at an unofficial home though in Mombasa. In all, Leopards had the potential to play eleven out of fourteen matches at Nyayo which is their homeground.

Considering that the Sony match that was postponed was scheduled for Nyayo, Leopards would easily have played twelve out of fifteen matches at their homeground! However, it appears the rescheduled match against Sony will take place at the adopted home of Mumias. 

In 2011, the results of the whole season for the Leopards read like this:-

The contrast is starling. Last year, Leopards ground out some one-nil results (four) whilst this year they have yet to grind out a one nil result.

Last year,m in thirty matches, Leopards did not suffer a 3-0 loss though this year they have already suffered such a loss.

Last year, Leopards scored nine home wins and  four away wins. This year, Leopards has already scored four away wins.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Post Match: Sofapaka (A)

Leopards missed the chance to go back on top of the Kenya Premier League when they lost 2-1 to Sofapaka last night. John Baraza scored the two goals so from the news round up you will be seeing a lot about 'Baraza' and 'brace'.

Timothy Olobulu of MichezoAfrika writes:-

Kenyan Premier League top scorer John Baraza struck a goal in each half as Sofapaka beat AFC Leopards 2-1 to put the 2009 champions firmly on the leaders’ board as the league comes to a break. Martin Imbalambala scored in the 70th minute but it was too little too late to salvage a point for Ingwe.

Sofapaka took the early chances commanding play in their usual possessive system. Baraza opened scores in the 13th minute with a beautiful diving header after latching on to a Mudde Musa cross. AFC keeper Patrick Matasi could only watch helplessly as the ball rolled into the net.

AFC leopards almost immediately made a reply but Augustine Etemesi blasted over the bar with only the goalmouth at his mercy. Amon Muchiri had brought in a cross from the right with Mike Barasa heading it first time, but keeper Duncan Ochieng’ saved with his legs with Etemesi landing on the rebound.

In the 25th minute, Jonas Nahimana’s free kick after Salim Kinje was fouled went inches wide.

On the half hour mark, Mike Barasa tested Ochieng with a ferocious shot with the shot stopper coming out with a fine save. Juma Abdallah had lost the ball in his own half with Kadenge feeding Barasa.

In the 45th minute, AFC looked like they had scored but Mike Barasa had guided the ball into the net with his arm and after celebrating what he though was a goal, he was rewarded with a yellow card.

Come the second half, Leopards started brightly with Jonas Nahimana making the first attempt.Ten minutes from the restart, the Amavubi defender had a decent long range shot which fell on Mike Barasa’s path. Barasa headed it changing it directions but Duncan Ochieng produced the best out of himself with a great reflex save.Jimmy Bagaye came in for Victor Ochieng who was tightly marked in the whole match and Charles Okwemba came in for Kadenge.

Koops made the attacking subs in a bid to pressurize Sofapaka. It paid dividends and in the 70th minute, Martin Imbalambala struck a long range free kick after being tapped through by Bernard Mang’oli. Keeper Duncan Ochieng was caught off his line and the ball rolled in for AFC fans’ sigh of relief.

The Leopard added more pressure as they sought the equalizer pinning Sofapaka into their own half. However, the Batoto Ba Mungu’s defense line kept their discipline to keep the attacks at bay.

In the first minute of added time, Nahimana was almost grabbing a dramatic late goal but his shot hit the upright.

Sofapaka are now at the top with 32 points while AFC Leopards remain third.

Brian Moseti of Futaa writes:-

After falling to a humbling defeat to Nairobi City Stars in their last Kenyan Premier League match, AFC Ingwe Leopards again went down 1-2 to Sofapaka in their Wednesday 16 May meeting.

In the match, AFC started the stronger side with Bernard Mang’oli threatening Sofapaka’s keeper Duncan Ochieng in the ninth minute. He shot, however, went awry. 

With the clock running, Sofapaka settled into the match and were dominating the affairs by the 13th minute.

 John Baraza capitalized on the strength to give his side a lead in the 15th minute, heading in a Musa Mudde cross. 

Towards the half-hour mark, Mike Baraza drove the ball into the Sofapaka yard and pulled a strong shot.

Keeper Ochieng earned his pay, parrying the ball away. 

Baraza was back again in the first minute of first half added time, managing to push the ball into Sofapaka’s net using his hand. 

The deed missed the eye of the center referee, who after consultation ruled out the goal and booked the player.

Coming into the second half AFC’s Mang’oli collided with Sofapaka’s Mudde, leading to the latter being stretchered off, after two minutes on the ground. 

He [Mudde] appeared to have been badly hurt, as he gave up his position to Bob Mugalia.

Coach Jan Koops seeing the urgent need to score, brought in Charles Okwemba and Jimmy Bageya, to replace Victor Ochieng and Oscar Kadenge. 

However, two minutes later, a defensive mix-up awarded John Baraza another chance, which he used effectively, to double his side’s lead.

Eight minutes later, Martin Imbalambala found the ball just outside the Sofapaka Box. He appropriately drove it goalwards and it deflected off Sofapaka’s defenders to land in the dock. 

With the threat of losing the lead looming, Sofapaka sank into defense and shielded it to the end.
After the match, Sofapaka are the tentative champions after the first leg, with five points keeping them away from AFC, who have a match at hand.

Our sister website writes:-

John Baraza scored two goals in either half for Sofapaka to beat AFC Leopards 2-1 at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday night. Martin Imbalambala netted Ingwe's consolation goal in the evenly balanced KPL game.

Oscar Kadenge and Benard Mang'oli showed their intent in the early exchanges shooting wide from outside the penalty area.

In the 12th minute, Musa Mudde's cross from right was headed into the net by John Baraza to give Sofapaka an early lead.

Mike Baraza's shot was blocked by Duncan Ochieng's feet for  Augustine Etemesi to shoot wide the rebound.

John Njoroge fouled Salim Kinje  near the area after 20 minutes. Jonas Nahimana took the resultant free kick but shot over the cross bar.

Baraza saw two of his shots saved in the 28th and 37th minutes by the Sofapaka goalie.

Patrick Matasi saved from Abdalla Juma's freekick on 30 minutes as action shifted from end to end.

Hashim Mukhwana was booked for a dangerous tackle on Etemesi. Mang'oli took the freekick but Nahimana could not get his head to it.

Mike Baraza was booked for tapping in a Mang'oli corner by his left hand after 45 minutes and wheeled away in celebration.

The halftime score was 1-0 in favour of Batoto ba Mungu.

Victor Ochieng forced Ochieng to a save on 52 minutes as Ingwe came back from the break is search of goal. Victor and Kadenge were substituted for Jimmy Bageya and Charles Okwemba respectively on 58 minutes.

John Baraza complete a brace on the 64th minute when he capitalised on Jonas Nahimana's blunder to shoot past Matasi. Martin Imbalambala fired a shot from over 25 yards when Mang'oli played him an indirect freekick in the 68th minute.

Etemesi was pulled for Francis Chinjili as Jan Koops looked to add strength to his attack. Ingwe could not equalise as Mike Baraza was once again denied in the 92nd minute.

Sofapaka are now four points clear of second placed Tusker and 5 points ahead of Leopards but both Tusker and Ingwe have a match in hand. Ingwe have now 8, drawn 3 and lost 3.

KPL website writes:-

John Baraza has such predatory instincts that when you lose concentration on him you suffer the consequences. For failing to tie him up, Leopards were down in the 15th minute when Baraza squeezed through space in the six-yard box to head in a Musa Mudde cross for 1-0.

It was from some inept defending that Baraza was to hit in his second goal in the 61st minute. It was against the run of play when he controlled the ball in box, turned before shooting past Leopards’ ‘keeper Patrick Matasi.

Leopards coach Jan Koops complained about the defensive errors that let Baraza through.
“ We dominated the second half, but you do not gift a person of John Baraza’s calibre with even half opportunities. He knows what to do.

Baraza won the 2010 top scorer’s “Golden Boot” with 15 goals and it appears if he was to win it this time he will surpass that number. On a leading 12 goals in the first leg, he’d be confident about scoring more than three goals in the second period.

Leopards created chances even though the reward was only Martin Imbalambala’s consolation in the 70th minute.

Sofapaka did the early running in the match holding more possession before Baraza’s opener.

But Leopards had good response and Augustine Etemesi should have done better than blast over the bar with a yawning goalmouth at his mercy. After an overlapping Amon Muchiri brought in a cross from the right, Mike Baraza headed in but Sofapaka ‘keeper Duncan Ochieng’ saved with his legs presenting the rebound to Etemesi.

In the 25th minute Salim “Kinje” Ramadhan was fouled and Jonas Nahimana’s free- kick for Leopards went inches wide. On the half hour mark, Mike Baraza tested Ochieng’ with a ferocious shot but the ‘keeper made a fine save.

In the second half, Leopards started brightly, and after 10 minutes Nahimana’s long ball fell well up front for Mike Baraza to head in but Ochieng’s save was spectacular. Jimmy Bagaye came in for Victor Ochieng’ and Charles Okwemba for Oscar Kadenge. The substitutes added bite in the Leopards’ attack and weighed in on Imbalambala’s score.

It came from a Bernard Mang’oli short tap of a free-kick to Imbalambala who hit first time and this time Ochieng’ was caught off his line for the ball to rolled in.

From then on Leopards mounted do-or-die pressure but Sofapaka kept their discipline to ride it out. In the first minute of added time, Nahimana’s booming shot was kept away by the upright.

This match saw Leopards return to league action after Football Kenya Federation cancelled the one against Sony Sugar on the weekend. The FKF had moved in to put Leopards under an interim “administration” following a court case that barred the current club officials from executing their duties. The federation argued that the club, without office bearers in place, did not have the capacity to ensure security during the match.

On Tuesday, FKF appointed a committee to handle Leopards affairs until the club’s administrative woes are sorted out. The FKF appointed committee’s first mandate was to supervise the Wednesday match and comprised: Hussein Terry, Doris Petra, Patrick Naggi, Jack Oguda, Lillian Nzile and the Leopards’ team a management.

SOFAPAKA - 39. Duncan Ochieng’: 15. Hashim Mukwana, 8. Juma Abdalla, 40. Eugene Asike, 5. Edgar Ochieng’, 20. Humphrey Ochieng’ Mieno, 14. James Situma (captain), 25. Musa Mudde, 21. John Njoroge, 11. Anthony Kimani, 12. John Baraza
Reserves - 29. David Okelo, Gk; 10. Robert Binja, 9. Bob Mugalia, 22. Heretier Luvualu, 35. Felly Mulumba, 30. Joseph Nyaga, 19. John Omani
Scorer - 12. John Baraza (15’, 61’)
Coach - Salim Ali

AFC LEOPARDS - 1. Patrick Matasi: 14. Amon Muchiri, 3. Abbasi Kiwalabye, 4. Martin Imbalambala (captain), 17. Jonas Nahimana, 22. Bernard Mang’oli, 12. Augustine Etemesi, 18. Salim “Kinje” Ramadhan, 34. Victor Ochieng’ (50. Jimmy Bagaye), 11. Mike Baraza, 7. Oscar Kadenge ( 10. Charles Okwemba)
Reserves - 19. Barnabas Tiema, Gk; 26. Robert Syongo, 5. Edwin Wafula, 30. Samuel “Misse” Mwangi, 15. Francis Chinjili
Score - 4. Martin Imbalambala (70’)
Coach - Jan Koops [The Netherlands]

Here is the table - courtesy KPL website

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pre Match: Sofapaka (A)

Collins Okinyo of Supersport writes:-

Sofapaka coach Salim Ali is confident of victory when they take on AFC Leopards in a mouth watering clash on Wednesday evening live on SuperSport 9East. 

The league leaders are on 29 points, three ahead of Leopards and a win will see them end the first leg top of the log. 

Ali believes that the match will tense and closely fought, "Our match against AFC Leopards will be very tough with alot of pressure but I believe we have the confidence and we want to maintain our perfect run that we have had this season and finish."

Sofapaka has most of its key players fit with Osborne Monday and Simon Mburu the only absentees. 

"All my players are key to our good performances so far and I believe we have all it takes to beat AFC Leopards in what I suppose will be an exciting clash that everyone must watch," a confident Ali told 

The record between the two is fairly even with the 2009 champions having won three while Leopards have won twice in their last six meetings. 

17.08.2011 AFC Leopards 3 Sofapaka 1
29.06.2011 Sofapaka 3 AFC Leopards 1
05.08.2010 AFC Leopards 2 Sofapaka 4
10.03.2010 Sofapaka 0 AFC Leopards 1
25.07.2009 Sofapaka 4 AFC Leopards 1
07.03.2009 AFC Leopards 1 Sofapaka 1

Carol Radull of The Star predicts a Sofapaka win.

KPL Pick of the Week

Sofapaka Vs AFC Leopards Wednesday 7pm

My Prediction: Batoto Ba Mungu 2 – 1 Ingwe

As I write this, Sofapaka are one point behind (now ahead) AFC Leopards in the standings but AFC play Sony today (they didn't); while Sofapaka have a tie against Muhoroni Youth. So the points may have changed come Wednesday. Infact come Wednesday Sofapaka may be top already, who knows. Wednesday is the last match for the two teams to play before the midway break and I know Salim Ali wants to go into that break on top. AFC Leopards’ slide has been sad and I just wish the warring management can sort themselves out; and that coach Jan Koops can find a rotation of players that works; so that fatigued players can get some rest. I think Ingwe’s poor form is a combination of fatigue and lack of concentration and it’s unfortunate but it’s football. I actually see Batoto ba Mungu going top before the break, but AFC coming back strong after the June rest.

The Sofapaka official website reports:-

Coach Salim Ali says the AFC Leopards match comes at a very difficult time for the players as they are required to play many difficult games within a short period of time, which he admits is not good for any athlete anywhere in the world.

However he says the team is well prepared, motivated and raring to go as they face the third placed side, which he says are the favourites going into the game and are also buoyed by their strength in many departments.

However, Salim says he has a good strategy to down them and expects a good turn of events because Sofapaka is going into the last game of the first leg on a fine run of form in the recent times.

“The match comes at a hard time for the players because we have had many games in a short time; we are playing three games in ten days which is not logical to even the best athletes in the world. However, we have no option but to play and we have also trained well for them.

“They are favourites going into the game because the last encounter between the teams they won and they are also a very strong side but we are also expecting a good result and we have a good plan for that. We have also had a fine run of form lately and since it is our last game of the first leg I am sure we will deliver”, he said.

MichezoAfrika writes:-

The big cat  fight is on this evening. Sofapaka FC will play host to AFC Leopards at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday May 16  from 7pm .The match will broadcast  live on Supersport.

Sofapaka will be fighting to maintain their top position in the league while AFC Leopards seeks to reclaim their spot. Sofapaka has 29 points while AFC has 27 points but has a   match at hand.

On head to head record, Sofapaka stands an inch taller with three wins, one draw and a loss in all their six league games since Batoto Ba Mungu first stepped into the Kenyan Premier League.

AFC leopards will be missing Erick Masika and Allan Wanga who are both out on injury. Koops has preferred to start with Ugandan Jimmy Bageya on the bench.

On his part coach Salim Ali has picked Anthony Kimani who has been used as a sub recently to start this evening. Hot property Humprey Mieno and John Baraza are expected to give AFC a hard time but Koops can rest his faith on top poacher Mike Barasa.

Tickets for the match are available at Nyayo Stadium at a cost of Ksh 500 for VIP and 200 for the terraces. ther Ticket Masters outlets will also be selling the much sought entry ticket.

Sofapaka: Duncan Ochieng,Hashim Mukwana,Juma Abdalla,Eugene Asike,EdgarOchieng,Humphrey Mieno,James Situma (Cpt),Musa Mudde,John Njoroge,Anthony Kimani,John Baraza 
Subs: David Okello (Gk),Robert Binja,Bob Mugalia,Heritier Luvualu,Felly Mulumba,Joseph Nyaga,John Onami
AFC Leopards:Patrick Matasi,Amon Muchiri,Abbassi Kiwalabye,Martin Imbalambala (Cpt),Jonas Nahimana,Bernard Mangoli,Augustine Etemesi,Salim Ramadhan,Victor Ochieng,Mike Barasa,Oscar Kadenge
Subs:Barnabas Tiema (Gk),Robert Syongo,Edwin Wafula,Samuel Mwangi,Jimmy Bageya,Francis Chinjili,Charles Okwemba

The Other Side of Leopards

Guest post by Mmbala Shikuunzi

Before I started getting involved closely in knowing the on goings in AFC Leopards team, I used to attend matches just like many other supporters who throng our stadia and go home and never mind what happens thereafter on day to day back office issues apart from hearing them in media.

For the past four years that I have been close to getting involved on AFC Leopards affairs, I must admit that they have been frustrating than encouraging.
Whenever we have spend long hours and days working and coming up with good ideas and structures, we have ended up nowhere if not fists fights. Even issues that are broadly accepted for the benefit of our club for long-term have ended up being scuttled by a few selfish individuals.

There are four major issues which I have managed to identify around AFC Leopards that seem to be stumbling blocks in the management of AFC Leopards.

First, we have “the brokers”. The most visibly seen in town and the more familiar faces you would see on television either causing chaos or surrounding certain candidates. This group operates in different manners. They are always stationed in town and visiting confidently people in offices especially if you have money. They will prod any moneyed man who is interested in Ingwe leadership with all manner of incentives. This group identifies people who are interested in politics and know well that a stepping stone to politics in Ingwe. They thrive mostly on peddling gossip. Immediately they get someone’s acceptance, they start supporting him and forget the other candidates if they have run out of handouts. You can only keep this group if you dish out handouts endlessly and they would not mind the on goings in the club. This is the group that is always ready for hire either for your support or propelling negative propaganda on your opponent.

Second, we have the entrepreneurs who are supporting certain candidates with the investment that they will make business either from the Ingwe merchandise, Ingwe gate collections which by any accounting standards is not properly accounted for or any other economic opportunity that arises from Ingwe organized events. This is the most lethal and shrewd of all the groups for they invest money and support knowing that the gains and stakes are high. They operate behind the scenes and sometimes collaborate with “the brokers”. If collaboration is hatched between these two groups, Ingwe issues become drama that fiction.

Thirdly, are the outsiders who come to Ingwe from virtually nowhere and put claim to Ingwe leadership. They have not been in the club for the last one or more years and cause a lot of friction dismantling the existing leadership. They conduct parallel elections where they are purportedly installed as AFC Leopards officials rush to the registrar or the courts of law for recognition.

And fourthly is the office of registrar of societies which from my point of view to have an “external interference” on issues related to Ingwe. Last year, there were conflicting letters from the registrar of societies accepting different factions as bona fide officials. As a government body, they should spare us this agony by being unprejudiced.

Even though Ingwe has a constitution albeit an old one, it does not run on the basis of that constitution. That is why Ingwe needs a new constitution with proper structures for transparency and accountability. This constitution must empower fans and give them authority over their club. The empowerment of fans from over the country through recognized branches and represented at the top decision making organ will ensure that matters pertaining to Ingwe are all inclusive and does not create avenues for “outsiders”. 

The point of having election every year is old-fashioned and the fuel that keeps burning wrangles at AFC Leopards. We must set a longer period for elections to give the new officials room to run our club and be able to gauge their performance. Officials cannot be elected in December and start campaigning again in January or a few months after that.

The other issue that has come up is whether AFC Leopards should be left as a society or be incorporated as a company with limited shares. Many have argued that being a community club, AFC Leopards should be left as a society while others have advocated for incorporation as a limited company so that those with shares are the only people concerned with the management. These are issues that will need to be addressed extensively by the fans themselves and take an option that will see our club end these wrangles that are threatening the very existence of AFC Leopards. 

Let all Ingwe supporters be mindful that the fall of Ingwe will be hard to reconstruct. Let us all seize this moment by putting aside our differences and come together to save our club. We cannot cheer our own downfall or sit at a distance and expect events to correct themselves. We know where the problem and the solutions. Then why are we not acting? Why can we mobilize ourselves to the exclusion of the so called “leaders” and change things? What are we lacking that we have to wait for these same old people who have their own interests to mismanage the affairs of Ingwe to always be leading us and most of the time to nowhere?

Am sure if it weren’t for the strong belief and support the Ingwe club receives from the thousands of fans who are willing to sacrifice their time and money despite the on goings, AFC Leopards would be dead and forgotten. Let set our club from this cycle of captivity.

Our team is currently doing well in KPL. We need to give it the support that it requires. We want to celebrate on the streets of Nairobi and other towns with the pride that comes from every win. We want at the end of this season to carry the KPL Cup in our own hands and sing and praise our club. Constant wrangles should not get to our players and affect their confidence.

*This post first appeared on the AFC Leopards Facebook Branch Wall.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Leopards v Sony Off

In an intriguing day of drama, the casualty was Kenya Premier League match number 107 between AFC Leopards and Sony Sugar.

First off, Football Kenya Federation sent out a letter cancelling the match:-

Patrick Korir of Futaa reported:-

The Saturday 12 May 2012 Kenyan Premier League tie between hosts AFC Leopards and visiting Sony Sugar has been called off.

A letter from Kenya’s football Governing body Football Kenya Federation (FKF) dated Friday 11 May confirms as much.

"Following a court injunction deterring the current office bearers of AFC Leopards from organizing and/or acting as bonafide officials of the club, it seemingly looks like that there is confusing in hosting of the above (Leopards – Sony Sugar) match. Since AFC Leopards are the hosting team, it has come to our attention that no proper security arrangements has been put in place hence in view of the confusion, the Federation is left with no choice but to cancel this match until further notice.

Resulting from the court order, and the legal contention between the two AFC SC factions, this encroaches the high security match which is bound to culminate in endangering the people’s safety and lives of the bonafide custodians in the country. We are compelled by the prevailing conditions to cancel the match until further notice."

Other than being copied to the KPL CEO, the letter has also been copied to the Chair of AFC Leopards as well as the Chair of Sony Sugar.

The  tie was set to kick off at the Nyayo National Stadium from 1500hrs 

Timothy Olobulu of MichezoAfrika had also carried a similar story:-

Football Kenya Federation has called off the Kenyan Premier League match pitting AFC Leopards and Sony Sugar that had been slated for this Saturday 12 May at Nyayo Stadium citing security reasons.

According to information sent from the FKF secretariat to KPL CEO Jack Oguda, the Federation has been convinced that ;

“No enough security has been guaranteed for the match as there is confusion on the actual office bearers due to the court injunctions”. “In view of the confusion, the federation is left with no choice but to cancel this match until further notice”.

The statement which is signed by FKF Chair Sam Nyamweya says that ;

“Resulting from the said court order and legal contention between the two factions, this encroaches a high security match which is bound to culminate in endangering people’s safety and lives of the bonafide custodians in the country, we are compelled by the prevailing circumstances to cancel this match until further notice”

The AFC Leopards management has been embroiled in tussles over the leadership of the club with Ssemi Aina and incumbent Alex Ole Magelo engaged in numerous court battles each claiming they are the legitimate chairman of the club.

Confusion was evident as the Sony coach insisted the match was on. 

Sony Sugar coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno says his team has not received any official communication regarding the cancellation of their game against AFC scheduled for Saturday at Nyayo  Stadium.FKF issued  a statement on Friday calling off the match citing  to security reasons.

According to Zico, the match is still on since they cannot rely on media reports.

"We are only reading about the cancellation on the media. We can’t take chances and move back home.Our players are ready for the match and our team manager is attending a pre-match conference" Said Zico.

KPL is expected to issue a statement on the development.

Kenya Premier League then followed with a cancellation of the match.

MichezoAfrika reported:-

Kenya Premier League Limited has officially notified Sony Sugar and AFC Leopards that the match no 107 between the two sides scheduled for Saturday May 12 at Nyayo  Stadium has been postponed off in line with an earlier statement by FKF on the same.

KPL Chairman Jack Oguda wrote: "Although KPL has always and will continue to respect the Laws of Kenya and the legally binding decisions of the courts applying those laws and was assured that proper hosting arrangements were made by the legally recognized officials of AFC Leopards, I have officially postponed the match because of the increased security risks as a result of the announcement."

Leadership wrangles at AFC Leopards informed FKF's decision to call off the match due to security reasons.

Futaa also reported:-

A letter from the desk of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Chair Sam  Nyamweya on Friday 11 May 2012 called off a Kenyan Premier League between AFC Leopards and Sony Sugar set for Saturday 12 May 20 that was to kick off at 1500 hrs at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The letter, addressed to KPL CEO Jack Oguda and the Chairmen of both Leopards and Sony Sugar, sited lack of proper security arrangements as the main reason for the call off.

Sent after working hours, the letter was received by KPL CEO on Saturday morning. And in solidarity, Oguda confirms that indeed the game is off. 

"This morning I received a letter dated May 11th from the FKF National Chairman (Sam Nyamweya) announcing the postponement of the KPL match between AFC Leopards vs Sony Sugar this (Saturday 12 May 2012) afternoon.

Although KPL has always and will continue to respect the Laws of Kenya and the legally binding decisions of the courts applying those laws and was assured that proper hosting arrangements were made by the legally recognized officials of AFC Leopards, I have officially postponed the match because of the increased security risks as a result of the announcement.

The new date for the tie is yet to be provided.

The Nation had in an earlier report also mentioned the fact that the wrangling for the leadership of Leopards was getting out of hand. Odindo Ayieko wrote:-

Deeply-rooted politics at Kenyan Premier League side AFC Leopards have returned to haunt the club and are threatening to rob Ingwe of what was possibly going to be their best season in a decade.

From the pitch where the club had gone 23 matches unbeaten, Ingwe have now collected a point out of a possible nine and last weekend’s 3-0 humiliation in the hands of Nairobi City Stars painted a picture of a long bumpy ride in the title race.

A court ruling has stopped the club’s executive from running the side and accounts frozen, painting a gloomy picture for the league leaders both on and off the pitch.

Off the pitch, it’s not known who between Alex Ole Magelo and Ssemi Aina is the chairman of the club.

On the pitch, the seven-point lead Leopards held a fortnight ago has been cut to one and Leopards may be displaced from the league summit by the end of Saturday.

Leopards play Sony Sugar at Nyayo Stadium, hoping to revive their title credentials and Sony coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno has said they are travelling to Nairobi to add more misery to the den.

“My team is fully fit. We are ready for AFC Leopards. I know they are a good side but we will cash in on their current crisis in confidence on the pitch,” said Otieno.

Leopards are without striker Allan Wanga while forward Mike Baraza and defender Eric Masika are doubtful, something that worries coach Jan Koops.
“Wanga has not been at his best. He has been struggling and will need some rest. We are waiting for a late fitness test before making a decision on Baraza and Masika,” said Koops.
Ingwe have also been unsettled with reports that Tanzania club Azam are targeting star performer Salim Kinje but Koops says their poor run is over and Leopards will return to their winning ways on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Sofapaka will take over KPL’s leadership if they beat Muhoroni away and Leopards lose to Sony.
Only a point separates Leopards and Sofapaka. Leopards play Sofapaka on Wednesday, a game that will determine who goes to the break at the top of the table.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pre Match: Sony (H)

Leopards host Sony Sugar after a tumultuous week of catfights at the courts.

Dennis Masinde Wandabwa of Futaa spoke to Mickey Weche and writes:-

AFC Leopards assistant coach Mickey Weche insists the club will turn the tide in the coming weeks.

The club has not had the best of times lately, churning out disappointing results after a great start to the 2012 Kenyan Premier League season.

They have lost two of their last three league encounters, in the process collecting just one point from nine.

Weche says the club is not in panic mode and will turn around their bad run soon.

"We will improve. That is for sure, but we are not panicking. The club has had a tough couple of weeks, with the opposition very tough, and the fact that we have lost some players due to injury not helping matters.

We are all determined to get back to the good times and the players are focussed to improve. I am sure you will see good results soon", Weche told

Leopards are still top of the KPL, but could be down to second if champions Tusker FC beat Chemelil Sugar today, Friday 11 May 2012.
Fred Maingi of Supersport reports on the injury state of Eric Masika.
AFC Leopards central defender Erick Masika will miss this weekend's Kenya Premier League (KPL) clash against Sony Sugar at Nyayo National Stadium due to injury.

The 26 year old sustained a hamstring injury during last weekend's tie against Nairobi City Stars which they lost 3-0.

Speaking exclusively with, Masika said he will rest this weekend following doctor's advice but will be available for their next tie against Sofapaka.

Masika said that despite the loss to City Stars, the team is still on course to finish the first leg league with 32 points.

“We have not lost hope and there is no cause for alarm. Our focus is still intact and we want to achieve our target by finishing the first leg with 32 points which is possible. The team has enough depth and I know we shall bounce back." 
  He called upon club fans to be patient, "It was quite disappointing losing to City Stars. It was not our day but that’s football and I urge fans to be happy and continue supporting us.”

Allan Wnaga will also miss the game but fellow striker Jimmy Bagaye will be available for the game after recovering from injury.

Leopards popularly known as "Ingwe" remain at the top on 27 points, one point ahead of second placed Sofapaka who mauled Mathare United 2-0 in a mid-week clash recently.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chairman's Seat 2008-12

Today we go deep into finding the pathway to the leadership wrangles that have seemingly been the focus of some sections of the media and some sections of the fans at AFC Leopards. We shall trace the leadership intrigues at the club for the last four years so that those who are ignorant may have a bit of the historical background to how we have moved from 2008 upto 2012.

We begin this story in 2008.

Alex ole Magelo assumed the leadership of the club on 22 June 2008 during the Annual General Meeting that was held on that day. 

At the time, the club was playing in the Nationwide Division and his coming into office led to the promotion of the team back to the Kenyan Premier League at the end of the year 2008.

In 2009, there was a scheduled Annual General Meeting in June where elections that were supposed to be held were postponed to the end of the season. A new constitution was adopted by the club during this Meeting but it seems it was never ratified at the Registrar of Societies.

Instead, Julius Ochiel was incorporated into the Executive Committee of the club. The then secretary general Micah Luvutse was replaced in an acting capacity by Richard Ekhalie. However, since Luvutse still appeared on the records at the Registry, at the end of the year he issued an Annual General Meeting notice dated 16th November 2009.

On 1st December 2009 Magelo resigned in a huff and announced that elections were still to be held on 13th December 2009. It appears that he then had a change of mind as he boycotted the elections but then indicated that he was still in office. During the Annual General Meeting held on 13th December 2009, the following had emerged as the officials.

However, Ochiel would have none of the change of mind statements by Magelo and filed a case being Chief Magistrates Court Civil Case Number 8664 of 2009 seeking orders that Magelo ceases being in office and hands over. Magelo did not contest this case and handed over to Ochiel who took over in January 2010.

Ochiel then called a Special General Meeting for 27th June 2010 in which a new constitution was passed. 

The passing of the constitution brought about some controversial positions since it stated that the term of office had been automatically increased to three years from one year. Ochiel also fell out with his Secretary General Robert Asembo and appointed Catherine Omanyo to act.

When the Annual General Meeting was expected to be called in December 2010, Ochiel instead announced that the meeting on 5th December 2010 would be only to fill in the vacancies of those officers who were not in office being the vice Chair and Organizing Secretary. To quote from the Ingwe Fan blog:-

This led to an uproar with a section of the fans opposed to the Ochiel group indicating that all the positions should be open for elections. It was reported in the East African Standard that:
A group of former AFC Leopards officials are demanding that elections be held for all positions during the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for early next month. The officials said yesterday it is unfair to restrict the elections to only two positions and want it opened up.
Led by former chairman Alex Ole Magelo, they termed it as unfair and undemocratic a decision by the current officials opening up only the vice-chairman’s post and the Organising Secretary’s position for elections. "This is a plot to lock out all those interested in vying for elective posts and we demand that the decision be rescinded," said Magelo who addressed the media at a Nairobi hotel.

The Registrar in a letter dated 1st December 2010 cancelled the AGM of 5th December 2010 and asked for a new notice where there would be full elections and not just for two seats.

Robert Asembo then called the elections and set the date as 28th December 2010.

Julius Ochiel rushed to court under Chief Magistrates Court Civil Case Number 8094 of 2010 seeking orders barring Asembo from calling the meeting and temporarily stopping the Annual General Meeting. 

On 14th January 2011, the court dismissed this application on a technicality.

Asembo then immediately placed an advert on page 23 of the Daily Nation of 15th January 2011 calling elections for 16th January 2011 at Nyayo Stadium.

During these elections, Julius Ochiel boycotted them and instead Magelo and Winston Kituyi took part in the elections for Chairman. The voting system used was mlolongo and though some sources indicated that Kituyi had won, Magelo also claimed he had won. This led to the first case of THREE Chairmen (Kituyi, Magelo and Ochiel).

However, Mumias Sugar as the sponsor intervened and the parties had a joint meeting at the sponsor’s offices in which it was agreed that joint elections be held on 13th February 2011.

A notice was issued by Catherine Omanyo to this effect.

The elections were held at Railways Club and were marred with violence when the voting was disrupted by some fans.

Several fans together with the Kenya National Sports Council petitioned the Ministry of Sports and on 23rd February 2011, the Minister stated that an interim board should assume the leadership of the club as the argument was that the term of office of Ochiel had expired at the AGM.

The Interim Board led by Gordon Oluoch then quickly moved to announce elections for 6th March 2011. Ochiel protested and filed a case in Chief Magistrates Court Civil Case Number 374 of 2011. He obtained orders in the afternoon of 4th March 2011 and was unable to serve the persons who were to conduct the elections in time. During the elections of 6th March 2011, Magelo was therefore elected.

Magelo was duly recognized as the Chairman of Leopards through a letter dated 7th March 2011 from the Registrar of Societies.

Two Leopards fans allied to Ochiel then filed another case in the High Court Civil Case No. 112 of 2011 in which they sued the Minister of Sports and the registrar General for recognizing Magelo as Chairman. Magelo joined this suit as an interested party and the ruling was finally given on 11th October 2011 when the case was dismissed. A copy of the ruling is available here

Whilst the case was ongoing, Magelo started the push for a new constitution by holding a meeting in September and another in October. However, a casualty of the push for the new constitution was secretary general Josephat Bukachi who was suspended on 20th September 2011. He also claimed to have resigned according to some mediasources.

With the backing of the court ruling that stated he was still Chairman, Magelo called a Special General Meeting for 13th November 2011 in which the adoption of the new constitution was the only agenda. The notice was placed on the official website.

This meeting took place and the constitution was passed.

At about the same time that Magelo was issuing the notice for the SGM, Bukachi issued a notice for an Annual General Meeting and set it for 27th November 2011. The notice was published in the Standard newspaper edition of 11th November 2011.

There was confusion when two AGM’s took place with one gathering declaring Ochiel as the new Chairman and another hours later at the same venue declaring new entrant Sammy Aina as the Chairman.

Kituyi was named the vice Chair in both gatherings whilst Magelo stayed away from these two AGMs. This led to the second scenario of THREE chairmen (Magelo, Kituyi and Aina).

Before this contested AGM and just to appear to be on the safe side, the two fans allied to Ochiel had once again gone to court on 25th November 2011 under Chief Magistrates Court Case Number 5716 of 2011 and obtained orders suspending the constitution passed on 13th November 2011 and also reiterating that the secretary general was Bukachi who had called the AGM of 27th November 2011.

The Registrar of Societies in a letter dated 29th November 2011 addressed to Aina, Ochiel, Bukachi and Magelo stated that having received the returns of the two AGMs, the SGM and the court order, the best thing to do was to await the decision of the court in the case filed under Chief Magistrates Court Case Number 5716 of 2011.

Unamused at the turn of events and the shenanigans being played, CLAWS Trust, a supporters trust of the club, filed a petition with the Registrar proposing a road map devoid of cases and court orders. This was presented to the registrar on 14th December 2011.

However, on 20th December 2011, the Registrar in a surprising move instead ordered that the club should issue a notice for an AGM within 30 days of 20th December 2011. The Registrar also said the club should furnish her with the register of members before then.

Bukachi who was not on speaking terms with the other EC members then purported to call an AGM and set the date as 22nd January 2012.

Magelo, on the other hand, insisted that having taken over in March 2011 and with a one year term, his term was to end in March 2012. He indicated that he would be issuing a proper notice for the Annual General Meeting.

It turned out that no credible list of members had been kept by the club and thus the elections of 22nd January 2012 could not be credible at all. The Registrar therefore cancelled the elections though her letter of 18th January 2012. Mind you, this was the same Registrar who had written the letter of 20th December 2011 asking for the elections to be called.

Aina however indicated that he went ahead to hold an AGM on 22nd January 2012 knowing full well that it had been cancelled. It is even funny that his election was unopposed as was for all the office bearers in his team. He has also not tabled any list showing how many members attended and voted that day.

The Registrar then issued a roadmap on 17th February 2012 in which key agreements were that the club have a Harmonization Committee on the constitution to harmonize the various drafts that have been mentioned above; then an SGM would be called and then an AGM. The date of the SGM was to be 4th March 2012 and the AGM was to be 8th April 2012.

However, due to time constraints, this process has had a change of dates with the SGM planned for 6th May 2012 and the AGM on 17th June 2012. In between these dates, a credible members Register would be prepared and nominations carried out for the various positions at the club.

Claws Trust was involved in putting the road map back on track and held the meeting on 15th April 2012 in which the various stake holders, except Aina, took part.

Aina had instead filed another court case High Court Case Number 110 of 2012 in which he sought orders to bar Magelo and his office from acting as officers of the club. This case was heard on 23rd April 2012 and the court granted his orders but did not grant him powers to be the Chairman. In fact, Aina cleverly did not sue the Registrar choosing to only give one side of the story that there were valid elections on 22nd January 2012 and he was elected. He failed to disclose that the elections had been cancelled.

On learning of the orders, Magelo quickly moved to court to vacate orders. This application is coming up for hearing on 8th May 2012. Ochiel also moved to court on 3rd May 2012 seeking to be enjoined as an interested party to the suit.

We await the next moves in this interesting story of Annual General Meetings, Special General Meetings, Court Cases and audacious coups.

Post Match: City Stars (A)

Leopards suffered a shock 0-3 loss against bottom side Nairobi City Stars.

Wilson Mathu of Futaa writes:

AFC Leopards were dimmed by a shocking 3-0 defeat in the hands of City Stars at the Nyayo Stadium Saturday afternoon.

City Stars proved a thorn in the flesh of Leopards from early in the match with Dan Sserunkuma being the man to watch.

Ingwe had an injury problem to deal with in the 40th minute when Erick Masika was forced out with an injury in the 40th minute and was replaced by Charles Okwemba.

The second half was action packed as the bottom placed team return with their entire arsenal ready to chase back Leopards back to their den.

Their efforts paid off ten minutes into the second half when Dan Sserunkuma finally got his way to notch the opener for the Stars.

Boniface Onyango was at it in the 64th minute notching a second for the Stars with Ssrunkuma completing his brace four minutes later.

Ingwe defense appeared to struggle with the absence of Erick Masika and City Stars made inroads into their half more often than not.

The Ugandan could have made it four in the 75th minute but Matasi was at hand to make the much needed save to leave it at 3-0.

The win lifts City Stars from relegation with 11 points while AFC’s lead was reduced to within two points from Tusker FC.

Timothy Olubulu of MichezoAfrika writes:-

An impressive Danni Serunkuma struck a brace as Nairobi City Stars totally outplayed and skinned league leaders AFC Leopards 3-0 in a thrilling KPL Top vs Bottom fixture at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

After a barren first half, bottom placed Kawangware boys came back with a no nonsense attitude  with Serunkuma striking twice and assisting the other in an outing Ingwe fans, players and bench will want to forget fast if not immediately.

The first warning signs for the Leopards came in the first half when their former boy Justus Basweti struck a beautiful volley that came off the bar. City Stars had started the match strongly and had made sure that they had sealed all the spaces defensively and were cautious in attack.

Victor Ochieng’ had a good chance for the Leopards in the 10th minute but he missed a sitter with no one marking him.

Allan Wanga returning from injury was well taken care of by the City Stars defense who made sure the former HAGL man did not have room to try his magic. Jan Koops was forced into an early sub after Erick Masika was injured. In came Charles Okwemba and this forced skipper Martin Imbalambala to be drawn back to defense.

Leopards could however not unlock the City Stars puzzle and the match went into rest with both teams at par.

Come the second half, it was an uphill task for the Leopards who looked lost in midfield and their attack did not click.

Ten minutes from the restart, Dani Serunkuma who was a constant thorn in the Leopards flesh proved just why he is one of the best rated attackers in the league this season when he notched in the first goal. Chesting down wonderfully a Victor Ashango freekick, the Ugandan import turned and shot into Matasi’s far right corner as the Leopards defense stood helpless.

Seven minutes later he turned from scorer to provider when he laid a lovely pass to Boniface Onyango who struck a wonderful shot that keeper Matasi could only wave at as it went in. A quick counter from their own half gifted substitute George Odary who passed on to the provider Danni.

Danni completed his brace and completed the skinning of the Leopard 20 minutes from time in cool fashion. A lofted ball from the City Stars own 18 yard area found Danni isolated alone in the other half. The Ugandan raced in his traditional with runs and fortune smiled his way as the only defender in his way, Jonas Nahimana,slipped. With keeper Matasi advancing towards the ball, Danni simply put the ball out of his path and into the net.

From then on Leopards looked like a lost group in the wild and most of their attacks never seemed to bear any fruits. Their midfield did not combine well and their attacks were thwarted repeatedly by a determined Stars.

The win lifts City Stars out of bottom place and reduces AFC Leopards’ lead at the top. Since their loss to Tusker, they have only managed a draw away to Karuturi.

Despite the loss, AFC is still perched at the summit of the KPL log with two points ahead of second placed Tusker who came from a goal down to beat Rangers 4-2 in an earlier match played at the same Nyayo stadium venue on Saturday afternoon.