Sofapaka gets lifeline from Betika

By Gilbert Wandera: Thursday, January 18th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Sofapaka and Ugandan striker Umaru Kasumba (right) celebrates with Maurice Odipo after scoring against Chemelil Sugar in a Kenyan Premier League match at Ruaraka Stadium, Nairobi, on Septembver 10, 2017. [Oliver Ananda/]

Betting firm Betika is reviewing its Sh50 million a year sponsorship deal signed with Kenyan Premier League side Sofapaka.

The review follows the 35 per cent tax imposed on betting firms by the Government, which came into effect at the beginning of this month.

According to Patricia Njeri, the firm’s marketing manager, they have opted not to withdraw their sponsorship but will instead reduce it to a manageable level.

“The 35 per cent tax will certainly affect our bottom line but rather than pull out completely from sponsoring Sofapaka, we have opted to review the sponsorship and negotiations are currently going on to that effect,” she said.

“The team did very well last season with our support and we therefore do not want to completely withdraw sponsorship.”

Betika was signed up as Sofapaka’s shirt sponsors last season, which helped the then cash-strapped club to finish runners-up after struggling against relegation in 2016.

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Betika’s decision to stay on as shirt sponsors is different from Sportpesa’d choice to stop all its sports sponsorships after the new tax regime was introduced.

Sportpesa’s move means more than Sh600 million has been withdrawn from the sports industry, with top clubs Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Football Kenya Federation, Kenya Rugby Union and a host of others left without a sponsor.