High noon for KPL coaches

Published on 27/02/2009

By Robin Toskin and Gilbert Wandera

It first started far off at Stamford Bridge, London, where Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic evicted Brazilian Felipe Scolari.

Now, it is high noon for Kenyan Premier League coaches, four matches only, into the new season after Chemelil Sugar axed Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno. His sacking, a day after AFC Leopards parted company with Gilbert Selebwa has sent shockwaves across the fledgling league buoyed by hefty Supersport sponsorship.

And, Gor Mahia are ready to mow James Siang’a in the wake of a string of poor results as competition in the local league climb a note higher.

With some of the coaches reportedly looking in the direction of juju men (magicians) to help sustain them in their jobs, their employers have turned on the magic of the axe.

Otieno, Chemelil officials say, was to initially serve a one-match suspension but this has been extended after he allegedly incited fans against some club officials.

A highly placed source at Chemelil told FeverPitch the coach has “disciplinary issues and lack of respect for club officials.”

“The officials were fed up with his attitude and slapped on him a one match suspension but this has been extended after he incited a section of fans to boo some officials during our match against Gor Mahia,” said the source.

Otieno could not be immediately reached for comment. Otieno’s axing leaves Chemelil in turmoil going into tomorrow’s clash against highflying new comers, Sofapaka, having lost two matches and won the other.

Otieno’s suspension comes in the wake of Selebwa’s suspension at Leopards who claimed he undermined the office.

Chemelil clash with Sofapaka in a 1.00pm kick-off. Leopards face Gor Mahia, another side also rocked by demands of coach James Siang’a’s sacking, in a mouth-watering clash at Kasarani.

The match to be screened live by Supersport was initially to be played at the Coca Cola National Stadium (formerly Nyayo), but later moved to Kasarani. The match kicks off at 3.00pm.

Leopards blew their chances of a first league win since 2006 when a calamitous blunder by goalkeeper Charles Onyango handed Bandari a share of spoils last Sunday at Coca Cola Stadium.

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