James Magayi @magayijim
Concerned AFC Leopards legends yesterday moved in to diffuse the current impasse threatening to destabilise the club by throwing their weight behind current executive committee.
Under the caucus of AFC Legends Branch, the more than 100 former players have called for sanity and calm ahead of the 2018/2019 SportPesa Premier League (SPL) season and informed aspiring members to wait for club elections next June.
The group sought clarity from Registrar of Sports Rose Wasike regarding the bonafide office holders and only made their decision upon determination that the Dan Mule-led group were legally in office.
Dan Shikanda led 10 former players including celebrated former goalkeeper Mahmoud Abbas, John ‘Shoto’ Lukoye, Reginald Asibwa and Maurice Khayota in urging for calm at the club.
“We have been dormant for a long time but it is now time to stand up and straighten this club. These wrangles are unacceptable and have cost us a lot of titles and glory and they must end for this great club to regain its past glory,” said Shikanda who also played for arch-rivals Gor Mahia during his heydays.
“We decided to go on a fact-finding mission at the Registrar who informed us through a letter the bonafide office holders.
As concerned members of this great club we are inclined to give our support to the office and urge the others to spare the club unnecessary drama. Elections will be held in seven months and that is not a long time,” he added.
The former players also condemned the office for locking out other stakeholders from the club affairs. They want the office to engage club legends more often on the general direction AFC Leopards ought to take as the former players possess plenty of experience and goodwill for Ingwe.
“Among us are people with great ideas in coaching and other aspects that can grow this club. It is therefore, time for the office to open space for other stakeholders to give their input in a structured manner so that we all build the team.
Resentment starts when others are locked out club affairs and that breeds bad blood,” Khayota said.
Abbas wants the club to adopt a more conservative culture with regards to the playing unit as opposed to the current revolving door witnessed at the den.
“We have a high turnover of coaches and even a higher one in the playing unit. I played for this club for eight years. Others did for 12 years yet currently there are very few players who can clock three years,” he said.
“You cannot build a winning team if you keep rotating players and coaches. In 2018 we had three coaches. That must stop for us to catch up with our rivals,” said Abbas counseled