Rating the foreigners that have landed Gor Mahia & AFC Leopards in hot soup: Were they worth the trouble?

©Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards Facebook.

FOOTBALL Rating the foreigners that have landed Gor Mahia & AFC Leopards in hot soup: Were they worth the trouble?

Joel Omotto 08:13 - 01.08.2023

Pulse Sports puts the foreigners that have caused K’Ogalo and Ingwe so much pain on the weighing scale to gauge whether they were value for money.

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are reeling from the pain of seeing their plans for next season hampered due to money owed to their former foreign players and coach.

Gor were kicked out of the CAF Champions League for failing to settle dues owed to former players Sando Yangayay, Adama Keita, and Jules Ulimwengu on time while Leopards are under a transfer ban due to over Ksh20 million owed to former coach Patrick Aussems.

Even before Aussems, Leopards had been serving a two-window transfer ban due to nonpayment of money owed to Rwandan defender Soter Kayumba and were hoping that they would be allowed to register their new signings in this window before the Belgian tactician’s case struck.

The aforementioned sought CAF and FIFA’s intervention over various breaches of contract after the clubs took longer than agreed to settle their dues and ‘Big Brother’ struck hard.

It is a matter that has made Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier claim that the club will not sign foreign players anymore but even as he contemplates that, did both teams get value for money from the players and coach that have landed them in trouble?

Gor Mahia

Sando Yangayay

Sando Yangayay took Gor to CAF for being owed Ksh2.27 million. Gor signed the Congolese striker on a one-year deal in 2020, handing him a hefty wage.

To make matters worse, the ex-FC Lupopo striker had been without a club for two years before joining Gor, but K’Ogalo somehow trusted him to fill the void left by South Sudanese striker Tito Okello.

However, the striker failed to impress, scoring one goal, and ultimately lost his place in the team before Gor cut their losses.

Yangayay was initially among the players that led to Gor’s transfer ban in 2021 when K’Ogalo were banned for fielding newly-signed players that included him, alongside Dennis Ng’ang’a and Peter Lwasa in a cup game against Tusker FC yet they had not cleared money owned to former players Shafiq Batambuze and Dickson Ambundo as well as ex-coach Steve Polack.

Verdict: Miss

Adama Keita

The goalkeeper is the one that messed Gor Mahia’s CAF Champions League plans for next season when he insisted the club had not cleared his dues, leading to the revocation of K’Ogalo’s Club License.

The ex-Mali international, who joined K'Ogalo in August 2021 on a two-year contract, had been frozen out by the club owing to inconsistent performances before being eventually axed.

Keita, who had previously played for CI Kamsar in Guinea, Djoliba AC, and Cercle Olympique Bamako both in Mali, ended his contract with the club last July citing a breach of contract, and was owed Ksh4.3 million.

However, just like Yangayay, Keita was not value for money as he never set the stage a light and K’Ogalo ended up with the short end of the stick once more.

Verdict: Miss

Verdict: Miss

Burundi international Jules Ulimwengu was owed by Ksh1.1 million, bringing the total to Ksh7.67 million for the three foreign players.

He took Gor Mahia to FIFA for not being paid his full dues between July 2021 and August 22, 2022.

Ulimwengu, who joined Gor Mahia in 2020, spent two years at the club, during which he was reportedly earning a monthly wage of Ksh150,000.

In his first season, he scored nine league goals but managed just one the following campaign before he left for Zambia’s Green Buffaloes after opting not to renew his contract.

Verdict: Miss

AFC Leopards

Soter Kayumba

©AFC Leopards Facebook.

Even before the Aussems issue, Leopards had already been under a two-window transfer ban following failure to settle dues owed to former captain Soter Kayumba.

The Rwandan defender initially sought FIFA’s intervention in March 2021 when Ingwe were barred from signing players until they settled all his dues.

The two parties agreed on a payment plan which later the player complained that Ingwe had reneged on, resulting into another transfer embargo in February 2022 but Ingwe were later allowed to register players by the FKF Caretaker Committee.

However, the player filed a fresh complaint with FIFA in March 2022 after Ingwe had registered new players signed in the mid-season transfer window and fielded them, resulting in a two-window ban imposed in June that year and was to end in June 2023.

Kayumba joined Leopards in July 2019 from Sofapaka on an initial loan deal that was made permanent at the end of the season but Ingwe found themselves in trouble when their then sponsor SportPesa exited, with the players going for months without pay.

The defender formed a formidable defensive partnership with Robert Mudenyu that kept a number of clean sheets for Ingwe leading to the second-best defensive record in the 2019-2020 Covid-19 aborted season.

Verdict: Hit

Patrick Aussems

Patrick Aussems, coach of AFC Leopards.
© AFC Leopards

The Belgian coach joined Leopards in February 2021 as a replacement for Rwandan Andre Cassa Mbungo and led the club to a fourth-place finish before ending the 2021-22 campaign sixth and regressed last term to manage seventh place on the table before he quit on July 10.

Aussems also failed to lead Ingwe to a trophy, extending their spell without silverware to six years. By the time he left, the Belgian coach had divided opinion among fans and the club leadership with some calling for his exit while others wanted him to continue.

In reality though, he failed to lift Ingwe to the heights many had expected when he signed on the dotted line.

Aussems had an ongoing pay dispute with the club since 2021 when he reported the matter to FIFA, with Leopards ordered to pay him a $145,000 (Ksh20.6 million) fine in May 2022 over breach of contract or face a three-window transfer ban.

They are yet to settle the dues and as per now, cannot register their new players, three weeks before the new season begins.

Verdict: Miss