The threat for relegation next season looms large at AFC Leopards after the Registrar of Sports declined to recognise the group that was controversially elected last month.
The action by the registrar has since forced club members and other stakeholders to unanimously resolve to meet on Sunday, July 14, at Railway Club, Nairobi, to appoint all-inclusive nine member committee to take charge of the club’s affairs for at least 90 days before “proper elections” are held.
According to Vincent Shimoli, a former club official, the nine-member committee will embark on any relevant amendments of the club constitution and by-laws to align it to the Kenyan constitution and world football governing body, Fifa, statutes. Shimoli said the action by the registrar, Rose Wasike, might see the stalemate persist thus plunging the already under-performing club into a fresh round of wrangles that would undermine their preparations for the 2019-2020 season.
The new team led by former international winger Dan Shikanda is now in limbo for they cannot sign players or transact any business for the club without the registrar’s nod.
The point of contention is the team’s failure to abide by the conditions set by Wasike for the club to hold elections and file returns of the outcome to her office.
No money to recruit quality players
Wasike had asked Leopards to provide a three-year list of genuine members from at least 24 counties as provided by in the new Sports Act.
The club’s executive had also been directed to dissolve the electoral board members following pleas from members that it was not properly constituted, but a section of members went ahead and hurriedly elected Shikanda as the chairman on June 23 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Others elected to be in charge for three years were Oliver Sikuku as the secretary and Maurice Chichi as treasurer.
Shikanda’s team found itself in a crossfire between rival political groupings which are fighting for the vote rich AFC Leopards’ stronghold in Western region.
The new team is alleged to align to one of the two camps, which since the elections has been wary of meeting with them to negotiate for financing to recruit players.
Equally, Leopards current sponsor, SportPesa, has made it clear it cannot do business with a faction of Leopards that is not recognized by the Registrar of Sports.
The offshoot of the latest development is that Leopards has no money to recruit quality players to replace the 10 that have already been released.