Will State fill in Sportpesa gap
By Elijah Ichwara
| November 11th 2019
It is no secret that football sponsor Sportpesa has closed shop in Kenyan football and the effects of that action were felt immediately. The chairmen of AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia football clubs have voiced their concerns on how it has become increasingly difficult to pay players and the technical bench. The newly-signed players haven’t received their transfer fees and looks like services will come to a standstill very soon.
The Kenya Football Federation President Nick Mwendwa is at pains how to raise funds for the national team Harambee Stars. The federation is certainly having limited options or none to pick from. If the Government doesn’t take responsibility at the moment to fund the national team, then Harambee Stars will also have felt the pinch, as it was a beneficiary of Sh20 million from Betin as the team was preparing for the AFCON games in Cairo.
It is in public domain and knowledge of soccer lovers that betting firms contributed more than Sh7 billion to fund the national team every year, and it seems that there are no apparent laid down plans on how the Government will compensate for the shortfall occasioned by the two biggest firms walking away. If the Government was serious in supporting sports, then we could have avoided pushing ourselves to this current situation.
Our main and small teams will very soon run out of funding and this will bring the Kenyan Premier League to its knees. With a few games left to the end of the premier league here in Kenya, it is only by God’s grace that most of them will make to the end. It is now evident in the minds of soccer lovers in Kenya that in the past weeks, the poor state of most of the KPL clubs was laid bare as most of the premier league teams did not report to the soccer fields to honor fixtures.
Just looking closely, out of the 18 teams, only a few have paid little to their players and staff. Among those struggling are champions Gor Mahia, Sofapaka, Mathare United, Kariobangi Sharks and teams like Mount Kenya and Kericho Zoo were cited among the clubs that are finding it hard to meet their financial obligations to their players. The recent happenings in terms of withdraws of companies should tell us something as Kenyans. Dependence will always be a big letdown.
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