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Reports indicate that the speedy winger, who was influential in Ingwe's 2-0 win in first leg , has been withdrawn from traveling squad to attend trials

AFC Leopards' departed for Addis Ababa on Friday for their Confederation Cup, first round, return leg tie against Ethiopia’s Defence without their influential winger Paul Were.

This is after the player, who was heavily involved in both Leopards goals in their 2-0 first leg win over the Ethiopian club last weekend, was unilaterally withdrawn from the team by his parent club FISA Academy.

Were, who is on loan at Leopards' from the South B-based academy, is now due to depart for South Africa for the trials with Professional Soccer League side Bidvest Wits. The development has left Leopards' fuming.

"This is sabotage. Were is our player and we have not denied him a chance to attend trials. We only wanted him to feature for us on Sunday, then leave for South Africa thereafter," Leopards’ organizing secretary Timothy Lilumbi told

"This development has forced us to evaluate our plans. I had to remain behind as the team departed for Addis. The coach has drafted in Mike Khamati as replacement, so we are trying to process his paper work, but all the flights to Addis are full. We will be forced to connect through Djibouti," Lilumbi added.

Leopards' are now threatening unspecified action against the Kenya international, who has been a key figure in the team over the past one season.

"He (Were) should be very careful. We have taken care of him very well, and even made him among the highest earners in our roster. His contract states that we are bound to release him for trials should an offer come, but this has not been done procedurally. We have an option of not sanctioning his release and keeping him here until his contract expires against his wish even if it means he doesn't kick a ball," Lilumbi warned.

Leopards' face Defence on Sunday and had included Were in their tour party.