Isaac Kipyegon has finally been declared the de jure AFC Leopards captain after months of uncertainty about the leadership positions at the club.
The left back who joined AFC Leopards in 2018 from Zoo Kericho has replaced fellow defender Robinson Kamura from the leadership position and will be deputized by Elvis Rupia and Benjamin Ochan.
So what really happened?
On Friday, February 19, 2021, AFC Leopards were beaten 2-1 by Bandari in an FKF Premier League tie, Kamura committing an error that gifted the home side a goal.
The defeat at Mbaraki Grounds gave birth to sabotage theories at the den; match fixing claims also hitting ground over a wage row with talisman Kamura at the center of the accusations.
The 26-year-old was then axed from the next match day’s squad, Ingwe winning 1-0 at home to Ulinzi on February 24 in his absence.
The Kimani factor
Apart from the error that led to the goal at Mbaraki, Kamura was also singled out as one of the senior players that were close to Anthony ‘Modo’ Kimani, their former coach who had just quit the den for Bandari paving way for Patrick Aussems.
Kimani left to reunite with and deputize his mentor Bandari head coach Andre Casa Mbungo, the Rwandan coach whom he deputized at AFC Leopards in 2019.
Kamura was, along with other players, accused of sabotaging Aussems but denied the allegations insisting he would ‘gain nothing’ by pulling down the club.
“Fans now think that we match-fixed and yet that is not the case. Such allegation is career-threatening for any player. You cannot be Ingwe captain and match-fix,” he is quoted by Citizen Digital.
The former Mathare United defender added:
“The week was surrounded by a lot of activities including the go-slow and that go-slow was not planned by the captain but the entire team. My name is clean and I cannot involve myself in such an evil act.”
Kamura who was appointed captain in 2018 just a year after signing from Mathare United, has not donned the armband since then, with Aussems entrusting Isaac Kipyegon, Elvis Rupia and Benjamin Ochan in that order.
After their 1-0 win over Tusker in the FKF Betway Cup at Ruaraka Grounds on June 9, the Belgian was quizzed about Kamura’s role at the club and he chose to take the interviewer head on.
“It is a question I see as useless because Kip was on the pitch, he is captain, Kamura was on the pitch last week, was he captain or not? No he wasn’t,” the former Simba SC head coach retorted.
On Thursday, Aussems decided to make a formal announcement, formally declaring Kipyegon club captain with Rupia and Ochan as his assistants, Kamura in the dark; bringing to an end the leadership question at the 1998 Kenyan Premier League champions.
Reports from the den however indicate, the changes are not hinged to the row, with the Belgian being said to have wanted a player who plays week in, week out.
To Aussems, Kamura is not his first choice center back.