Ingwe fans accuse new coach of calling players ‘monkeys’

AFC Leopards fan at a past match

Barely a week after taking over as AFC Leopards coach, Dorian Marin is at the centre of a storm over comments he reportedly made after his side’s 3-0 drubbing by Gor Mahia in the SportPesa Super Cup final last Sunday in Tanzania.

The agitated Romanian tactician reportedly said after the match that, “I wasn’t confident of winning. I just wanted to give them a fighting chance. But still, we have a lot to do. I just wanted to give them the belief that they can do it, but the difference is huge.

They are aggressive, we are monkey and so forth, that is the problem. What is going to work? My job as I did everywhere I have been (sic), I have taken weak teams as this and I have transformed them, but I will need the support of the board because there are players who are not for the premier league anywhere in this world (sic).”

His comments have landed him in trouble with a section of Leopards supporters now demanding an apology or he be dismissed. Here are some of the comments:

Martin Were Teny: Ours players are not monkeys. Someone tell that Dorian guy!

Prince Zlatan Mkhitaryan Mahntix: Calling our players monkeys to me that’s racism. Dorian (sijui Dorine) should apologise to Ingwe fraternity, not happy at all with that statement

Queenie Diana Obbayi: Yaaani fossil ikajichocha sahii inaita players monkeys like seriously!!!! Operation Dorian aka fossil must apologise that’s uncalled for !!!!!

Lugendo Bernard: From scared rabbits to monkeys, hawa coaches wa efusi are escapists kweli. Like I said, Dorian talks too much, and that will be his downfall. ION it is racist to call Africans monkeys. if you do this in Europe as coach or player, you kiss your career goodbye.

Eduardo K Jackson: Feeling mocked. I am neither a rabbit nor a monkey. I am a Leopard. That’s the truth.

Some fans however defended the coach, challenging the team to up its performance ahead of their Kenyan Premier League fixtures.

The club has also defended the new coach, with CEO Ronald Namai saying the former Eritrea national team coach was misunderstood, and that his comments were not racist.

“I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. The coach is a temperamental guy, which we knew even before hiring him. People react differently when angry and definitely after such a big loss to our rivals, he was angry. He said things which maybe he wishes he shouldn’t have, but he was not being racist, he simply meant we were inferior to Gor.

I have spoken to him and he’s shocked at how the whole thing has been misinterpreted. I call on our fans to let go of this and focus on our match against Mathare United on Saturday,” Namai said when contacted.