AFC Leopards condemn tribal slur on midfielder Peter Thiong’o
AFC Leopards’ National Executive Committee (NEC) has condemned the reckless remarks by one of their fans directed at players from Mount Kenya region, specifically the team’s assistant captain, Peter Thiong’o.
Earlier in the week, the club suspended Thiong’o and team captain Eugene Mukangula and stripped the pair of their captaincy over what chairman Dan Shikanda termed as failure to show leadership during the recent row between the players and management.
During the stand-off over a pay dispute, the players threatened to boycott a league match against Vihiga Bullets.
Following the decision to suspend the two players, discussions ensued off and online, and in one forum, in a now viral screenshot, one fan suggested that players from the Mount Kenya region should be ejected from the team when their contracts expire at the end of the season.
But in a statement, the Leopard’s NEC expressed their disappointment with the fan’s remarks. The club also said the remarks don’t reflect on the club’s values or beliefs.
“As a club deeply rooted in the spirit of sportsmanship, fair play and inclusivity, we are committed to upholding the values of respect, unity and harmony within our footballing community. AFC Leopards Sports Club is cherished and respected across the entire Kenyan fraternity irrespective of religion, tribe and any other inclination,” the club statement reads in part.
“In light of the inappropriate remarks, we want to assure the footballing community that appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken against the fan, which may include a ban from attending our matches. If she were a member, we could have expelled her as we take those remarks to be very serious,” the statement further reads.
The NEC also expressed regret for the inconvenience cause to Thiong’o and the entire AFC Leopards family, promising to protect his wellbeing and dignity and fostering an environment that would ensure growth, team work and mutual respect.