Kenyan giants AFC Leopards have lost up to 17 players ahead of the new season of the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL).

Goal reports that the club is currently in a race against time to form a competitive team ahead of the new season that sees them kick off their campaign with a match against champions Tusker FC on Sunday.

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A number of top players have ditched Leopards over the lack of finances after going for several months without pay.

They said players are: Benjamin Ochan, Austin Odhiambo, Bienventure Shaka, Boniface Wafula, Clyde Senaji, Collins Lusaka, Elvis Baranga, Fabrice Mugheni, Hansel Ochieng, Harrison Mwendwa, Robinson Kamura, Said Tsuma, Sellasie Otieno, John Oyemba, Eugene Mukangula, Ezekiel Owade, Jafari Owiti and Yusuf Mainge.

It is understood that Leopards have a thin squad of 12 players to contend with at the moment even as the club’s assistant coach Tom Juma called on fans not to panic.

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Among the senior players that have stayed put at the den despite the challenges at hand are: Abdallah Asad, Caleb Olilo, Collins Shivachi, Dan Sunguti, Isaac Kipyegon, Lewis Esambe, Marvin Omondi Omar, Omari, Peter Nganga, Robert Mudenyu, Tedian Esilaba and Washington Munene.

The club is facing a transfer ban and can therefore not bring in any new players. This has made things even more complicated with a full-strength Tusker waiting in the League opener.