Rachier: SportPesa shutdown to hurt Gor and AFC Leopards
Kenyan Premier League champions, Gor Mahia, are sweating over their financial obligations after the government shut down betting platforms of its shirt sponsor SportPesa.
Speaking on KTN News Sports Chat yesterday, Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier said the club’s participation in the Caf Champions League is at risk.
“It is doom and gloom. It is our prayer that the standoff between the government and betting firms is resolved amicably,” Rachier, who is also the chair of SportPesa Premier League, said.
He added: “Of course we understand the position of the government, but whatever action they take they should also consider the sports industry. SportPesa and other betting companies have invested millions of shillings.”
AFC Leopards’ Dan Shikanda also appearing on the show said:
“Ingwe depends a hundred per cent on SportPesa funding. We simply don’t know where we go from here. The government, we believe, has the best interest of everyone including Leopards,” Shikanda said.
Gor Mahia are in Rwanda representing the country in the Cecafa Championship where they face Zambia’s Green Eagles in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
The Kenyan Premier League (KPL), which kicks off on August 30 has a naming rights deal with the giant betting firm. Rachier also suggested the league brand could suffer should SportPesa reconsider its position.
“I don’t think that is the intention of our good government. It is time they sat down with the betting and sports industry players to iron out whatever sticking points there are to save sports in the country,” Rachier said.
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