Retired Kenyan international Boniface Ambani has advised against Kenya’s major football clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards thirsting over foreign players who do not measure to standards and prone to conflict.
The former Harambee Stars forward and Ex AFC Leopards player has spoken after record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia were expelled from the 2023/24 CAF Champions League over unpaid salaries of foreign players.
In 2021, Ugandan Shafik Batambuze, Dickson Ambundo from Tanzania, and coach Steven Polack took Gor Mahia to FIFA over their pending salaries and the Kenyan giants were banned from bringing in new faces until they fully settled the trio financially.
“Do not go for a foreign coach when you actually know you don’t have the funds to pay him. Do not sign mediocre foreign players, whom their quality cannot even match our own local players. A pro should posses qualities that are beyond our borders,” Ambani tweeted.
Ambani has urged the two clubs to find a proper way of parting ways with their foreign players whenever things go south between the involved parties.
“When you think it is time to release these players before expiry of their contracts, have a one on one talk with them. Sit them down, get to a mutual agreement/understanding on their exit plan. Agree with them. Tell them, as from next season we will not be using you. As a club let’s agree on your dues settlement plan, follow it to the maximum, and let them sign down.”
“Same thing with the coaches. They are all human beings and when you approach them with respect, they will definitely respect you, MD will exit with respect. This issue of bringing in mediocre foreigners who can’t measure to the standards, should be a thing of the past. Get in foreigners whom their quality is above what you have in a team, or locally. Not just signing every Dick Harry and Potter. Somebody sues the club with little contribution to it. Completely Zero. He gets dropped, he runs to FIFA, and you guys get fined, and banned. The two clubs , should look at their recruitment policies. Lack of recruitment team has always led to these happenings. It’s time you guys have to change, or continue getting whipped by FIFA and CAF, ” Ambani concluded.
AFC Leopards has also been battling same problems as Gor Mahia involving foreign players and coaches that are paid heavy salaries compared to the local ones.
In 2021, Rwandan defender Soter Kayumba took AFC Leopards to FIFA over his pending dues at the den. FIFA directed the Leopards to pay Kayumba his KES1.8m or face the consequences.
In the process, AFC Leopards were slapped with a two-year transfer ban after failing to reach an agreement with the Rwandan player. The club was forced to promote a number of players from their junior side during the ban period.
After guiding AFC Leopards to a seventh place finish in the concluded FKF Premier League season, the side’s head coach Patrick Aussems resigned from his position with rife reports indicating Ingwee owed him money and that he had demanded payment before committing to a contract renewal.
“For personal and private reasons l won’t be able to renew my contract with AFC Leopards! Thanks to my players, my staff, the incredible fans for the last 2 years! I wish Ingwe all the best! Asante sana,” Aussems said in a statement on his official twitter.
Should the reports be true, AFC Leopards risk another ban if Aussems decides to take the matter to FIFA.