Return of SportPesa will be a godsend to broke Gor Mahia

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Gor Mahia players warm up before their friendly match against Ksports at Parklands Sports Club on March 11, 2020. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

There has been reports that betting firm SportPesa may be back soon.

I have been made to understand that the company has been in talks with the government and chances are it may be back in operation.

This may be good news for Kenyan football which has been suffering since the exit of giant sports betting firm.

The Kenyan Premier League for instance has had no title sponsor for close to a year and its operations have been severely deflated.

For the first time in a very long time we saw clubs dishing out walkovers due to lack of finances to travel, what a shame.

But at the same time, it will be the best news to my beloved club Gor Mahia who enjoyed shirt sponsorship from the betting firm.

Both Gor Mahia and our mashemeji AFC Leopards were sponsored by SportPesa before it closed shop in Kenya after a government crackdown on betting companies.

With the exit of SportPesa, Gor Mahia has faced tough times, players have gone months without salaries and allowances and we are threatened with a possibility of losing some of our finest players because of the current financial situation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has not made matters any better because all football activities have been suspended meaning that if the players do not train and play, they neither get their training or winning bonuses.

A return of SportPesa to the scenes will be a massive boost to our football because they will definitely reactivate the contract they had with the Kenyan Premier League and also with Gor Mahia and our shemejis.

SportPesa injected a massive Sh70 million annually to Gor Mahia, this is probably 85 percent of the club’s annual budget and the impact of this was visible as Gor Mahia not only maintained their dominance in the local scene but also for the first time reached the quarter-finals of the Caf Confederations Cup.

But beyond just sponsoring Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, SportPesa supported the national team Harambee Stars and went lower to the grass roots where the company also funded development of football.

It is my prayer that the news of their return comes to fruition because it will be the best that will have happened to Kenyan football amid the gloom occasioned by Covid-19. My fingers are crossed.

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In Summary

  • The Kenyan Premier League for instance has had no title sponsor for close to a year and its operations have been severely deflated
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has not made matters any better because all football activities have been suspended
  • A return of SportPesa to the scenes will be a massive boost to our football because they will definitely reactivate the contract they had with the Kenyan Premier League and also with Gor Mahia