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Is Ismaila Diarra joining AFC Leopards? That’s the big question as more conflicting positions over the true status of the Rayon Sports hit man keep surfacing.

The highly rated Malian striker signed 18 months contract with the former Kenyan Premier League champions in June and was provisionally registered by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) pending international tranfer certificate (ITC).

However, reports from multiple sources in Rwanda suggest the player who is expected in Nairobi, Kenya this week may not come after all as it appears Rayon Sports is beginning to develop cold feet about the whole deal.

The cash strapped club is believed to be fund raising to meet the demands of both Diarra and Emmanuel Manishimiwe as they plot for CAF Confederations Cup next year as the 2016 Peace Cup Champions.

Also, they are set to lose their top league scorer, Ugandan Davis Kasirye, with 13 goals, who is joining DR Congo side DC Motema Pembe and the club is unwilling to weaken further.

Speaking to via phone from Rwanda this evening, Rayon Sports President Denis Gacinya was categorical Diarra will decide his future at the end of his contract with the club in August, contrary to Leopards’ held position that the said contract expired on Monday July 4.

“Diarra is still our player; he will decide his future after expiry of his contract in August. We are receiving many offers for his services including from Congo and we are going through them; we would also like to negotiate with the player for contract extension”

Pressed further, Gacinya said,

“AFC Leopards are demanding release letter from us but the player still belongs to us.”

Ingwe Coach Ivan Minnaert on the other hand will not lose sleep over the issue, saying his former player is a leopard, and the Nyanza based side cannot do anything about it now.

“Yes we signed the player and he cannot play for two clubs.”

Rayon plays penultimate league fixture away to Espoir on Wednesday, however Diarra who was red carded in their last outing against arch rivals Kiyovu Sports on Sunday will miss the tie. The season concludes on Sunday.


African Football Writer contributing @Soka25east | Commentator; appeared on @MySoccerAfrica, @KweseSports, @ntvkenya, others | Keen follower of African Football. E-mail:

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