AFC Leopards chairman Shikanda says the promise stands, but former champs need to win all remaining five matches
Exactly six months after being newly- elected into office, AFC Leopards top hierarchy dangled the carrot to the players of the sleeping giants.
The message by Ingwe mandarins led by Chairman Dan Shikanda to players was crystal clear: Each of the 30 members of the playing unit shall be rewarded with houses if the team wins the 2020/21 Betking Kenya Premier League.
Inquisitively, in Kenya’s football history, such kind of remuneration has been unheard of which invited a sizeable number of doubting Thomases.
But Shikanda was adamant that the management was determined to ensure the success starved big cats come out of the disturbing drought having last won the gong 23 years ago.
Shikanda believes the team had the capacity to end the hoodoo of failure to win the league even as doubts rose over the reward the players were promised.
“It is a pledge we have put across and we have no intention of changing it. I rest my case,” said Shikanda himself a former dazzling winger at the club.
But fast forward even after making a promising start in the league where they were leading at some point after building a two-point gap with Tusker, Leopards fell behind with some inexplicable defeats and now have a mathematical chance of winning the title.
Incidentally, the performance began going south midway through the season with a 2-0 loss top Western Stima with the latter recently concluding a double over the cats in a 3-2 victory.
Leopards went ahead to lose to Bandari (2-1), Tusker (2-0), Bidco United (1-3) and Kariobangi Sharks (1-0) which put a blemish to their title hopes.
And although pundits tip either Tusker or KCB to win the title, the school of thought is that with pundits highly tipping either Tusker or KCB to win it, Leopards, who are below in the pecking order, also have a chance assuming that they win all their remaining five fixtures starting from this Saturday’s duel against arch rivals Gor Mahia, while praying the bottlers and the bankers’ falter in at least four of their remaining five league matches.
“The promise remains and although there is a bit of inconsistency on our part, we believe we are not yet out of the race,” said Shikanda in finality.