•Club chairman Laban Jobita, however, said the fired players were not sent packing because of the allegations.
•“I have not said they were involved in match-fixing. I don’t want to say that and I don’t want to comment on the allegations,” Jobita told the Star on phone on Friday morning.
Struggling Kenyan Premier League side Western Stima have fired 14 players after match-fixing allegations rocked the Kisumu-based side.
Club chairman Laban Jobita, however, said the fired players were not sent packing because of the allegations.
Those who were sent packing on Thursday are long-serving goalkeeper Samuel ‘Abawa’ Odhiambo, Marvin Ayoro, Devans Shakil, Spencer Obura, Austine Wahongo, Vincent Oluoch, Abdrahaman Mango and Ezekiel Wandanda.
Others are Mark Ochieng, Hamid Aki, Darry Odhiambo, Elly Otieno, Sharriff Khaemba, and Wycliffe Aguero. Initially, Jobita hinted that he wanted to fire all players but abandoned the plans.
“I have not said they were involved in match fixing. I don’t want to say that and I don’t want to comment on the allegations,” he told the Star on phone on Friday morning.
A Ugandan, Ronald Nigawira, was last month arrested as he was allegedly trying fix the team’s match against KCB. Nigawira was later released after Jobita withdrew the charges.
He said underperformance is the main reason why he axed the 14 .
“I have a problem with the position that we are in. I’m not happy at all that I’m in relegation zone. That’s totally unacceptable,” he said.
“I also want to have a lean squad of about 23 players. Currently, I have 28. It is not possible to manage them because we don’t have a sponsor.”
He said he is in the process of recruiting new players. Already, several trialists are training with the team under new coach Abdalla Juma, who took over two weeks ago. He replaced Paul Ogai.
“I will confirm the new signings on Saturday after a series of friendly matches. The technical bench led by Juma will have the final say on the new signings,” said Jobita, a former footballer.
Some of the players who are training with the powermen are former defender Kennedy Owino from Gor Mahia, Michael Luvutsi, Nigerian import Micheal Karamor, Ugandans Martin Mpuuga, Isaac Doka and former Stima players Edwin Omdoni and Steve Otieno, who are in Wazito books.