Trouble at the den as AFC players fail to train

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Feb 24, 2021
  • AFC Leopards Chairman Allan Kasavulli with Timothy Lilumbi at a past function.(Photo:SNA file)

All is not rosy at AFC Leopards after only 11 players reported for training on Tuesday morning.

After their weekend match against Chemelil Sugar, the players were given a day off and were set to report for the morning session on Tuesday under coach Zdravko Logarusic but only 11 players turned up for training. Of the 11, only the goalkeepers trained while the rest of the squad never even changed into training regalia.

“We are in a terrible situation because we have not been paid for the last three months as well as outstanding allowances dating back to last season. It is hard for players to cope because football is our source of livelihood and this is what pays our bills. We are struggling to even get enough money for transport to go to training sessions,” one of the players who sought anonymity told Sportsnewsarena.com.

“Our management is not doing much to help either because we try reaching out to them but all we get are empty promises. We understand that our sponsors have financial problems and they explained that to us very well when we met in Mumias last week. As much as we understand that, our office is not doing anything to try and help the situation,” the player added.

Team Manager Willis Waliaula expressed his disappointment with the direction the situation is taking and has slammed the club’s management for failing to address the issues well.

“I have tried to get in touch with them today and told them only 11 players are in for training but no one has picked my calls nor replied my messages. How are we expected to work like that,” he posed.

“We have persevered for quite a long time bearing the situation but when no one wants to listen to us, then it reaches a point I also understand the boys. There is a lot of disconnect with how the team operates because we work hard on the pitch, but the management is not doing a thing,” Waliaula added.

“I am ready to resign if indeed they will not look at the welfare of the players. At the end of the day, if we are not performing, it is the technical bench which will be under pressure to explain why,” Waliaula pointed out.

Players look to fans for help

A number of the players had to speak to their fans over the weekend after their game against Chemelil Sugar in Nakuru and according to one of the players, they now need to seek the help of their supporters to pull out of their current situation.

“The sponsors say they are not able to help, the officials as well say they can’t. It is now up to our fans to step in and save the ship from sinking."

However when reached for comment the club’s Organizing Secretary Timothy Lilumbi said; “It is true we have not paid players their salaries but it is a well documented fact that Mumias are going through problems and their cash flow is greatly cut out.

They (sponsors) are willing to work to a solution and we have only asked the players to be patient,” he said.

This comes even as a section of the club’s fans called for a meeting of all stakeholders on Sunday to discuss the conduct of club chairman Allan Kasavuli whom they have accused of mismanaging the club.

The players have also questioned the club’s decision to play in the KPL league as opposed to the FKF Premier League and they now want Kasavuli and his entire office out.