Immediate AFC Leopards coach Tom Juma has blamed ‘cartels’ at the Kenyan giants for his exit and derailing his plans to help the team end their drought of winning the FKF Premier League title.
The reign of the 47-year-old Juma came to an end at the Den after Ingwe suffered a 2-0 defeat against rivals Gor Mahia in the Mashemeji derby at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday. After the game, reports emerged that Juma, who had been appointed on a permanent deal to replace Belgian Patrick Aussems at the start of the season, had been shown the exit door leaving the club without a win from the opening six matches.
Speaking for the first time since the sack, Juma believes unless something urgent is done to deal with cartels, who he said is “a big disease killing the team”, Ingwe will never make any major steps and their quest to win titles will remain a far-fetched dream.
“This thing called cartels is a big disease eating up and killing this team. I will not expound much on it but they are killing this team for sure. There is a committee that was formed to recruit players, something that I have never seen before,” Juma said as quoted by Citizen Digital.
He added: “As a coach you need to have a say in the type of players a team is signing because of your style of play and how you would want to fit certain players into your system. If that is not the case then there is a big problem.”
Juma went further to reveal the reason why his team was struggling in the top flight blaming their lackluster show on new players, who were yet to gel together. “For sure it has been a good experience but unfortunately things didn’t go as we planned due to these challenges,” said Juma, adding: “You go to the training ground and train with the players but a lot of new players about 20 from different teams who needed time to gel.”
Out of the opening six matches, Ingwe have managed four draws and two defeats. Their first defeat of the season saw them lose 1-0 against KCB. His premature exit has left Ingwe searching for a new coach and reports reveal they are in the process of unveiling Czech tactician Tomas Trucha, who will return to the Den for a second stint, while former Tusker FC and Sofapaka goalkeeper coach Haggai Azande will come in to replace Lawrence Webo.
On Tuesday, assistant coach Fred Ambani took charge of the team in the absence of Juma. Trucha, whose last coaching job was in Malaysia with top-tier side Kelantan United, had a very short stint at Ingwe in 2020 but didn’t go past a month and he left after allegedly feeling threatened by a section of the supporters.
If Trucha takes charge, he will be available for his first game when they return to action after the FIFA international break with a trip to face Bandari FC at Mbaraki Sports Club on October 22.