AFC Leopards seek divine intervention at Makadara Friends Church
Kenya Premier League side AFC Leopards football team sought divine intervention on December 3, 2023, at the Makadara Friends Church in Nairobi, ahead of their remaining matches in the ongoing Football Kenya Federation Premier League.
In a video in Nairobi News’s possession, the kitted-out team, its managers, staff, and accompanying friends lined up at the front of the alter, where they all introduced themselves to the congregation.
The team manager then asked that the church continue standing by AFC Leopards as they continue battling out in their matches and team progression in the league, hopeful for victories.
AFC Leopard is currently facing a mountain as this season has been their toughest so far in the FKF Premier League. They failed to win any of their first six league matches, leading to the sacking of coach Tom Juma.
Thomas Trucha then replaced Mr Juma from the Czech Republic- who was also present at the prayers and club patron Alexander Muteshi.
AFC is set to face off with Tusker FC on November 4, 2023, at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County from 3 pm.
Despite Coach Trucha’s arrival, the club continues to struggle on the pitch and is currently ranked among the worst-performing teams in the 18-team Kenyan league.
AFC Leopards currently ranks at position 15 with 10 points, beating Nzoia Sugar (9), Sofapaka (8), and Muhoroni Youth FC (8), respectively.
The FKF League is currently being led by Posta Rangers (25), Gor Mahia (24), and Kakamega Homeboyz (24) football clubs, respectively.
AFC Leopards also continues to face hurdles off the pitch after former coach Tom Juma threatened to sue the club for Sh 12 million over a pay dispute. This comes months after another former coach, Patrick Aussems, was awarded Sh 20 million by an international sports body jurisdiction over another pay dispute with the Leopards.
From the pitch and finances, AFC Leopards also continues facing management issues after Chairman Dan Shikanda found himself in hot soup for threatening a Nation Media Group journalist, John Ashihundu, over claims that the media house only published negative stories about the club.
“I have never done any story stating that betting is going on at the club as claimed. I don’t know why he confronted me and issued a stern warning to me over what I do not know about,” said Mr Ashihundu after Mr Shikanda threatened to deal with him “if he did not stop.”
In another instance, Mr Shikanda went on to have a meltdown on WhatsApp when ardent AFC Leopards fans took him to task regarding the club’s finances.
They also sought to find out how much money he had brought into the club, why the club’s finances were critically poor, how many trophies he won with the club, and why he was “an overrated and clueless Chairman.”
The heated confrontations turned ugly when some fans abused the Chairman and his family. This set off Mr Shikanda, who clapped back in several responses.
On financial contributions the club receives, Mr Shikanda said, “Makanambo, how much do you contribute to this club to have the monopoly of abusing me and my family?…(to another fan named Abbas Mholanzi) How much did you contribute to FIFA cases apart from praying the team to be relegated? I can assure you they were sideshows. Wewe kunitusi (You abusing me) plus my family is the core business.”
Regarding the allegation that the club hasn’t won any trophies during his leadership, Mr Shikanda responded to his accuser, “Whether I win nothing or not, you don’t have the right to be used to abuse me left, right, and center. That one, I can assure you, Abbas. You are the cheapest of all, but I can assure you, enough is enough. The time has come for us to respect each other.”
AFC has also been relying on wealthy benefactors and well-wishers to make ends meet at the club.