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AFC Leopards fans demand club settles former coach Sunday Kayuni to ‘avert curse’

By Cecil Odongo October 11th, 2023 2 min read

A section of AFC Leopards fans have asked the management pay dues owed to former coach Sunday Kayuni.

Kayuni, a Tanzania national, was the last coach to win a title at the club in 1998.

He is reported to have left under a cloud of controversy after the club refused to pay his outstanding arrears.

Further reports indicate he cast a ‘curse’ on the club upon returning to Tanzania, claims he has denied in past media interviews.

Curse or no curse, Leopards has consistently struggled since Kayuni’s departure despite boasting a huge following and significant resources compared to its competitors.

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The poor performance at Leopards has continued into this season with the club winless after seven league matches and currently flirting with relegation to the second-tier league.

This has led to the reported dismissal of the coach Tom Juma alongside a section of the club’s technical bench.

Speaking to Nairobi News, a section of Leopards fans believe the club’s woes will not be solved with Tom Juma’s sacking even though Criatoan Thomas Trucha is lined to replace him.

Rather, they want the club to go public on the issue with its former employer and at the very least, pay him his dues.

“This situation we are in looks like a curse. We should think twice on this issue. Let Kayuni be paid his dues. Let every fan contribute Sh100 so that we pay him,” a fan, namely Juma Harun, wrote on Facebook.

“That is an issue which we can’t wish away. Let’s pay our coaches and legends so that they can bless the team,” said Baraka Campbell.

Other fans distanced themselves from this contentious subject that comes up every time Leopards are struggling on the pitch, and instead called on the players to work harder.

“That’s not the excuse to fail to perform. Yaya Toure’s manager reportedly cursed Manchester City but the team went on to win the UEFA Champions League,” opined a fan namely Dan Lugz.

Contacted, Leopards Secretary General Gilbert Andugu said he has heard of the issue but the record is not even there to know how much Kayuni is owed.

“I hear he is in Tanzania but we don’t have records. Now that we are not doing well in the league, it is not strange issues like this will keep coming up,” said Andugu.

“We have brought in Truch and have put a favourable exit clause to avert the Fifa tussle which has seen clubs pay dearly when contracts are terminated,” he added.

Truch coached Leopards in December 2020 for a month before leaving claiming his life was under threat in Kenya.

In July 2023, Kayuni who currently works as a football instructor attached to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) told Leopards to ‘leave him out of their failures’ as he had moved on with his life.

“It’s been a long time since they won the title, and they should look at where they went wrong and correct themselves by making good signings and organizing themselves,” he told Tanzanian publication Mwanaspoti.