Nairobi News


Why AFC Leopards might be barred from signing new players by FIFA

AFC Leopards could be barred by FIFA from signing players for the next two transfer windows, in what is the latest of a drawn-out legal tussle involving the club and its former trainer Ivan Minnaert.

Nairobi News can exclusively reveal the Belgian coach, who now manages top Guinea club AS Kaloum, has dragged the SportPesa Premier League club to Fifa’s Dispute Chambers for breach of contract.

This is in reference to a case where Minnaert, who has also managed Mali’s Djouliba FC and Rwanda’s Rayon Sport in the recent past, was fired by Leopards in September 2016, barely six months into his two-year contract.


The coach would later forward a claim of wrongful dismissal to Football Kenya Federation’s Arbitration Tribunal,, which ruled that he should be paid an equivalent of his six month salary totalling Sh2.4 million as compensation.

But then Leopards have again defaulted on the payment plan forcing Minnaert to run to FIFA.

“Fifa has written to FKF and asked them to act on this case or offer feedback. If found guilty, Leopards will be ordered to pay, fined heavily and even barred from signing players or another coach,” a close source explained.

Spanish clubs Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid are among the clubs that have been barred from signing players by FIFA in the recent past as punishment for various offences.

Now under the tutelage of coach Robert Matano, Leopards are ranked 13th on the 18-team Kenya Premier League standings after 20 rounds of matches.