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More problems for broke AFC Leopards as court orders Ksh. 1.3M compensation for Odongo

13:05 GMT 18/12/2021
AFC Leopards fans react during their league match against Bandari in Mombasa.
The midfielder's contract was ended without due procedure in 2020 and the former league champions will have to compensate him

Financially troubled AFC Leopards have suffered another blow after a Kenya High Court ordered them to pay former player John Wonder Odongo Ksh. 1,303,000 for illegal dismissal.

The midfielder was shown the door back in August 2020 as all sporting activities in the country were halted owing to covid 19. By the time of his dismissal, the midfielder had slightly over a year left in his contract.

It is for that reason he opted to take legal action against the 13-time league champions.

What were the charges before the court?

"Odongo states that he played with passion and diligence," Justice James Rika said as quoted by Nation.

"On or around August 23, 2020, he received a phone call from AFC Leopard’s offices, to collect his letter of termination. He availed himself and was handed a release letter, authored by the club’s secretary, dated August 24, 2020. It was alleged that release was by ‘mutual agreement’.

"The claimant rejected the letter, as he had not agreed with the club to terminate his contract as suggested in the letter.

"The [termination] letter states untruthfully, that the claimant had been released by the Respondent, through ‘mutual agreement.’ There is no evidence at all that the termination was consensual."

The Ksh. 643,000, the club admitted it owes the player, was not settled.

High Court judgment

The court decided the player should be paid his outstanding sign-on fee which was Ksh. 200,000, a year's pay of Ksh. 720,000, salary arrears amounting to Ksh. 301,000 and further Ksh. 22,000 which was the winning allowances.

"Interest on [the Sh1,303,000] is allowed at court rates, from the date of judgment [December 10], till payment is made in full," Rika added.

This is a massive blow for the team considering the recent financial problems faced.

Odongo was signed by Ingwe on August 13, 2019, as the team was re-structuring to battle for the league title. In the concluded season, the team lost several top players and opted to promote some members of the junior team.