Hector Como: The uncompromising AFC Leopards Technical Director who defied the club


FOOTBALL Hector Como: The uncompromising AFC Leopards Technical Director who defied the club

Festus Chuma 18:06 - 30.01.2024

Hector Como challenged the club's administration leaving a lasting mark on Kenyan football's professionalism.

Over a decade ago there was a man who fearlessly stood up to AFC Leopards, defying the club's wishes and shedding light on the lack of professionalism in the Kenyan football scene.

Hector Como, the no-nonsense Technical Director of AFC Leopards in 2011, became a symbol of integrity and conviction as he challenged the administration's decisions, ultimately leaving a lasting impact on the club and Kenyan football as a whole.

In a moment that would go down in AFC Leopards' history, Hector Como vehemently criticized the club's administration for not informing him about the alleged sacking of nine players from the team.

This bold move came during a crucial period when he was in the midst of negotiations with prospective players to bolster the AFC Leopards' squad.

“I have not been informed of anything about this move and am not aware of any players having been sacked. This is completely unprofessional because nobody involved or informed me of the decision if at all they have fired the players,” expressed Hector Como who unapologetically addressed journalists as per Michezo Afrika.

At the time, Hector was busy meeting with players like Jamal Mohamed, Mike Baraza, Joseph, and Pascal Ochieng, discussing their potential moves to AFC Leopards.

The Italian football administrator's frustration was evident as he emphasized the importance of stability within the team during the mid-season.

“It is not possible to recruit players in each position in mid-season. That is not only unacceptable by the KPL rule, but it is suicide to do so for a team that will have less time to gel in the mid-season," he added.

Como's adherence to the rules and his vision for the team clashed with the administration's decisions.

The Kenyan Premier League had imposed a new rule, limiting mid-season recruitment to only four new players. Hector pointed out the impracticality of releasing multiple players without having replacements ready.

"KPL’s new rule does not allow recruitment of more than four new players in the mid-season transfer, and if they are serious about releasing all these players, where shall we get the replacement for some of them?" he questioned.

Despite his dedication and passion for the team, Hector Como would later depart from AFC Leopards under unclear circumstances.

However, his legacy would live on, and rumors of his return in 2018 sparked controversy, with some fans perceiving him more as a player agent than an advisor.

The Italian-born Hector Como made his mark not only as a technical director but also as a talent scout and dealmaker.

He offered professional deals to Kenya internationals like James Situma and Francis Kahata, paving the way for their European careers. 

Moreover, he tirelessly worked on deals to transfer players like Kenneth Muguna, Musa Mohammed, and Godfrey Walusimbi to European clubs.

Hector's influence extended beyond the pitch, as he played a significant role in sealing lucrative kitting deals with various Kenyan Premier League clubs.

Upon leaving Kenya, Hector Como shared his insights with the media, emphasizing the need for professionalism in developing, handling, and managing football players.

He believed that football could be a major income generator for the Kenyan economy if managed effectively.

"Kenya has talent, but most of the managers in Kenya take that opportunity for granted. There needs to be more professionalism in developing, handling, and managing players. Soccer is big business across the world, and if managed well, it will be one of the major income earners for the Kenyan economy," he advised, leaving a message that still resonates in the hearts of football enthusiasts.

Today, Hector Como's journey has taken him far from the Kenyan football scene. According to his LinkedIn account, he now runs a firm in New York called COMO Global S.A., a Luxembourg Fintech company that provides payment infrastructure for payment transaction processing.

His path from challenging AFC Leopards' administration to the world of fintech showcases the versatility and determination of a man who never shied away from speaking his mind. 

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