Leopards submit list of new-look squad for Africa assignment

Tuesday January 2 2018

AFC Leopards forward Marcellus Ingotsi (right) celebrates his goal with teammate Alexis Kitenge during their GOtv Shield quarter-final match against Wazito FC on August 20, 2017 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

AFC Leopards forward Marcellus Ingotsi (right) celebrates his goal with teammate Alexis Kitenge during their GOtv Shield quarter-final match against Wazito FC on August 20, 2017 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CELLESTINE OLILO
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AFC Leopards have submitted to the Confederation of African Football a list of 20 players for the CAF Confederation Cup which begins next month.

The list includes six new faces in goalkeeper Ezekiel Owade, forwards Ezekiel Otuoma and Ezekiel Odera, Ghanaian Prince Ako, Nigerian Henry Uche and Ugandan winger Baker Alukoya.  

Ingwe, who beat the December 31, 2017 deadline for submission of their squad to CAF, have until January 15th to make any modifications.

Leopards are, however, wary of threats issued by their shirt sponsor SportPesa to withdraw their support owing to the new 35% tax law that took full effect on December 31st midnight.

Leopards, who are to play Malagasy side FOSA Juniors in the first week of February, need to raise at least Sh30 million to cater for their first two rounds of preliminary matches in the continental competition.

SPORTPESA

Ingwe Chairman Dan Mule says they may pull out of the CAF Confederation Cup should the sports betting company make good its threat to withdraw its sponsorship.

SportPesa has called for an urgent meeting with club representatives and federations on Tuesday at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi, to chart a way forward.

“I don’t know if we can honour those fixtures without sponsorship. We could go back to begging from politicians, but no individual can provide air tickets for a team of 30 players for the entire tournament. It is very expensive. We may have to strike it off the budget," said Mule.

“We have no other sponsor apart from SportPesa, we are asking government to rethink their decision and withdraw the punitive tax law,” Mule added.

GOR MAHIA

The Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia are also in a similar predicament. Gor, who also have SportPesa as their shirt sponsors, are supposed to prepare for the CAF Champions League this year.

The club is yet to make public the list of players sent to CAF. The club's Chief Executive Officer Lordvick Aduda, however, confirmed that they had sent a list of their squad to CAF before Christmas.

K’Ogalo have been pooled alongside Equatorial Guinea champions Leones Vegetarianos in the Champions League draw held in early December last year. The KPL champions will start the preliminary round at home in the first week of February.

Last week’s decision by the High Court to uphold the new tax laws that require betting, lotteries and gaming to pay 35% tax has caused panic within the two teams after their shirt sponsor SportPesa threatened to withdraw.