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Leopards suspend veteran coach Matano, ‘Gattusso’

The hot seat at AFC Leopards has consumed fiery tactician Robert Matano barely one month into the 2018 season. Matano was unceremoniously kicked out Friday over discipline issues and underwhelming performance despite losing just one match.

Former Gor Mahia title winner Frank Nuttall is a top contender to replace Matano after being relieved from his lucrative contract with Ghanaian giants Hearts of Oak for alleged malpractices. Nuttall, is said to have irregularly facilitated player movements to Europe resulting in his dismissal.

Leopards were prematurely ousted from the CAF Confederations Cup by Madagascar’s FOSA Juniors after two legs, and midweek league loss to Sofapaka seem to have sealed Matano’s fate at the den as he now stands suspended pending further consultative meetings.

“What we have done is asked Matano to step aside from the team until Tuesday when he meets with the Executive Committee. I cannot divulge the details exactly but what I can say is that the issues revolve around discipline and performance of the team,” AFC Leopards Secretary General Oscar Igaida was said on Friday.

He added: “We have an agreement with the coach that we should be reviewing his performance after every five matches. AFC is a team which should be in the first round of the Confederations Cup and as at now, we should be talking of three matches and three wins. We just want to find out why the team is not doing well.

There are also issues with discipline both from the technical bench and the playing unit as well.” Controversial midfielder Collins ‘Gatuso’ Okoth has also been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.

Okoth was issued with a ‘show cause’ letter for absconding training while the team travelled to Madagascar for their return leg tie with FOSA Juniors and was consequently omitted from the match day squad.

The controversy-laden former Gor Mahia ace is further said to have abstained from training with the team upon return to the country and was given seven days to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against him. Leopards’ assistant coach Dennis Kitambi will be in charge of the team during Saturday’s away league trip to Awendo against Sony Sugar.

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