What you need to know:
- Poor officiating is partly to blame for Ingwe’s failure to win the league this season
- Apart from being declared champions on August 22, the winners will pocket a prize of Sh3 million so it’s untrue that teams have nothing to play for
- Sources at the Den say the club is, however not keen to initiate any talks with top players for new contracts
I completely disagree with AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda following his claims that the league lost meaning on June 30, when Tusker were declared Kenya's representatives in next season’s Caf Champions League.
We all know that Tusker was awarded the ticket because they emerged top by June 30, the official deadline set for member associations to submit names of their representatives.
But Shikanda shocked many when he said he did not see any reason for teams to continue playing in the current campaign and trying to put all the blame on Football Kenya Federation (FKF), while his leadership is equally responsible for the team’s failure to secure the Champions League ticket.
Poor officiating is partly to blame for Ingwe’s failure to win the league this season, but at Leopards, just as it is at Gor Mahia everything that happens within the team is based on chairman's decision.
If the team doesn’t perform to the expectation of fans, then that’s the chairman’s mistake.
June 30 would have arrived when Leopards were on top ahead of Tusker, but the management is to blame for failing to work closely with the technical bench to make sure that the players' welfare was well taken care of.
With the team out of the FKF- PL title race and having narrowly missed out on the Caf Confederations Cup after losing to arch-rivals Gor Mahia in the Betway Cup final on penalties, we have nothing to play for.
As I said before, part of the job while heading Leopards is to tell members what to do and the buck stops with you Shikanda and your office!
For a better part of the season, Leopards were among the top three teams fighting for continental qualification after FKF directed, even before Caf, that the team at the top of the table at the end of June would earn Kenya’s Champions League slot.
Tusker managed to secure the ticket after topping the standings ahead of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and AFC Leopards. Gor Mahia will play in the Confederation Cup after beating Leopards in the FKF Cup final.
But Shikanda says he does not see the sense of teams playing in the top-flight to finish their fixtures because they already know which team will compete in the Champions League, forgetting that number one slot is still up for grabs.
Apart from being declared champions on August 22, the winners will pocket a prize of Sh3 million so it’s untrue that teams have nothing to play for.
After losing to Gor Mahia in the Cup final, Leopards beat Bandari 2-0 with Patrick Aussems showering the makeshift squad that featured in the match with praises for showing character.
Some star players did not feature in the match after their contracts expired, but the management insists that they are still part of the club. Sources at the Den say the club is, however not keen to initiate any talks with top players for new contracts.
Leopards, which has experienced some major hiccups that continued to jolt their charges for the first league title since 1998, is currently among the top five teams.