'Calm down' - AFC Leopards reassure restless fan base amid transfer ban, massive exodus
Football Kenya Federation Premier League side AFC Leopards have called on their fans to maintain calm amid a Fifa transfer ban and a massive exodus of 17 players.
Ingwe were banned from signing any new players for failure to pay former head coach Andre Casa Mbungo and ex-players who left last year when they were undergoing financial constraints.
Benjamin Ochan, Austin Odhiambo, Bienventure Shaka, Boniface Wafula, Clyde Senaji, Collins Lusaka, Elvis Baranga, Fabrice Mugheni, Hansel Ochieng, Harrison Mwendwa, Robinson Kamura, Said Tsuma, Sellasie Otieno, John Oyemba, Eugene Mukangula, Ezekiel Owade, and Jafari Owiti are the players who left the club ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Their departures have put the local giants into a very hard situation.
"Contrary to reports doing rounds on social media and sections of the press, the club has adequate playing staff and technical personnel preparing for the new season that kicks off on Sunday, September 26, 2021," the club's statement read on Thursday.
"The club would also like to dispel rumours that the head coach Patrick Aussems has left the club. The coach has a valid contract with the club and has been heavily involved in pre-season training," the statement read. "The coach himself sends his greeting to Ingwe fans and is looking forward to welcoming you all to the stadium as soon as possible.
"The club is also aware that we have lost a number of players after we failed to agree on contractual aspects. We wish the players all the best in their future engagements. However, our focus is on the group of dedicated players in the camp and we are working tirelessly to ensure that their welfare is at the forefront of our season planning.
"Due to the Fifa transfer ban, we have not been active in the transfer window. However, our technical team has been working on a solution to raise the quality and competitive team that will battle for honours in the coming season.
"Finally, the management wishes to thank the players, the technical bench, and, more importantly, you, the fans and members, for standing with the club through the turbulent times experienced in recent weeks. We are regaining altitude and we shall soon be cruising again."
After the 17 left, Abdallah Asad, Caleb Olilo, Collins Shivachi, Dan Sunguti, Isaac Kipyegon, Lewis Esambe, Marvin Omondi, Omar Omari, Peter Nganga, Robert Mudenyu, Tedian Esilaba, Washington Munene and Yusuf Nasri are the 13 senior players remaining at the 12-time Premier League champions.