2 Jan 18

Story courtesy of the Nation

The announcement of betting firm SportPesa’s cancellation of all sports sponsorship in Kenya has thrown local football clubs AFC Leopards  and Gor Mahia into financial crisis.

Both clubs, which are sponsored by SportPesa, are now looking at an uncertain future, what with local and continental assignments to be honoured in the yet to start 2018 season.

Even before SportPesa made the formal announcement, Leopards had indicated that it would not honour its continental engagements this year, in the event of the betting firm’s pull out.

In a statement on New Year’s day, club chairman Dan Mule also expressed fear that the club’s other activities could ground to a halt in the not so distant future.

“I can put it here on record that without the backing of SportPesa, the club will not be able to pay salaries and play in continental assignments,” said Mule.

Mule, who explained that SportPesa’s sponsorship helps offset about 70 percent of the club’s monthly Sh6.5 million bill, is now pleading with the government to put on hold the implementation of the new tax regime imposed on SportPesa and other betting companies to allow for dialogue.


“It is with this background that I urge the government to put on hold the implementation of the new tax regime on betting companies in order to facilitate the convening of a stakeholders meeting as soon as possible to discuss the crisis in the sporting arena,” he said.

Leopards are set to play against Malagasy side FOSA Juniors in the first week of February in the preliminaries of the Caf  Confederation Cup.

Similarly, Kenyan champions Gor Mahia are set to compete in the African Champions League this season, with an assignment against Equatorial Guinea side Leones Vegetarianos in the preliminary phase.

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier says the club is considering the resumption of selling branded bread and having a Paybill number emblazoned on the team jerseys should SportPesa also pull the plug on its sponsorship deal with the club.

“The sports industry is a latent giant, let us not waste this opportunity to develop it by repelling investors from the industry. I therefore plead with the government to rethink this move which will sound a death knell to this very promising industry,” Rachier said.

Category: News

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  • Ingo says:

    Wait a minute, the government is saying that they are trying to fight gambling by introducing steep taxes. May I politely ask this; what is the number one thing that is holding Kenyans baxk. The answers to that would be corruption and not gambling. As a matter of fact, more and more Kenyans are gambling in hope of wining so that they can pay fees and provide for their children because the Kenyan government including the executive, legislative and Judiciary have let them down through corruption. So now the government is trying to treat the symptoms instead of treating the disease. Uhuru, please leave sports pesa alone and concentrate on fighting corruption. That is where the fight needs to be!

  • Jakoyo says:

    hehehe….the price you have to pay for singing ‘resist , resist, canaan , canaan ‘ all the time……Omera ! dont ever bite (central government) the hands that feed you ( western kenya)

    • Dan Original says:

      So rugby,Boxing and rallying were also singing resist? I think that was a business decision just the way crown beverages exited the scene. Unfortinately we are ‘mourning’ instead of coming up with ideas on how to get out of the hole

    • Jamigori says:

      @Jakoyo, I think you have memory lapse. The tax bill on betting was initiated by former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, your name shake.

  • Jakoyo says:

    Gor Mahia name 30 man squad for 2018…..


    Bonface Oluoch , Shabaan Odhoji , Fredrick Odhiambo


    Musa Mohamed , Haroun Shakava , Wellington Ochieng , Godfrey Walusimbi , Innocent Wafula , Wesley Onguso, Charles Momanyi , Joachim Oluoch , Joash Onyango , Eliu Lokuwam .


    Ernest Wendo , Humphrey Mieno , Lawrence Juma , Bernard Ondiek , Philemon Otieno , Stephen Otieno , Francis Kahata , Jean Baptiste , Cercidy Okeyo , Alpha Onyango ,


    George Odhiambo, Kevin Omondi , Ephraim Guikan , Samuel Onyango , Jacques Tuyisenge , Medie Kagere , Bonface Omondi

    • Barefoot Bandit says:

      I am disappointed that my favourite Oliver Maloba is not in the list, trials in Europe notwithstanding.
      Some new names that J’Asego has not briefed us on. Give us some insight about Stephen Otieno jersey 33 Eliu Lokuwam (32). Is Alpha Onyango (23) promoted from the youth outfit? Were jerseys 3 (Otieno Solo) and 15 (Otieno Bassanga) retired? So sad that Karim’s Injury has kept him out of the squad.

      • Jasego says:

        BB…Lokuwam is from Kenyatta Uni i mentioned him earlier,Stephen Otieno should read Sidney Otieno from Bidco,Alpha Onyango promoted from under 20 a defensive midfielder,then Mugiraneza still meandering abt snc Karim might be out for first leg of the season.Jersey Number 3 belongs to Karim Nizigiyimana hence its absence while famous 15 christened calabar is currently unattached…

      • Jasego says:

        Actually Jersey No 15 will be donned by Joachim Oluoch so all are accounted for…For now be ready for paybill number katek wadoke mana secho jokamaa

        • Oduor12 says:

          Secho to pay for perpetual “passengers” and “EC commissioned players”. Are we not in a “financial crisis”? Why not recall Dan Ssrenkuma a proven goal scorer? Why have 2 foreigners warming the bench- J.Bapiste and Innocent? Goalkeeping??? Boni’s positioning in Rooney’s goal was a nightmare na sio mara ya kwanza!

  • Wichkuot says:

    @dan original, I think the message is where are those political leaders to give us ideas forward. Thika United now Mt Kenya United have a sponsor from state house.

    We have a crisis which must be fixed otherwise I see the death of football in western Kenya.

    • Jamigori says:

      @wichkuot, the matter is business, political and economical decision. Sportpesa has just gone overboard with hasty decision. The finance bill motion on taxing betting and gambling companies was moved by the former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, who was passionate about the gambling little did he knew of the effect.

  • Oduor12 says:

    Why the panic? Didn’t Mugabe promise to “build a stadium” in 2018? These are the funds that should be used to finance the 2018 season unless the “build a stadium” was just another lie! Elaborate lies / schemes to flee the club(s) now derailed. It’s not only the government that is corrupt, unaccoutable and opaque is their operations. Officials of both clubs knew that they only had one year contracts renewable or non-renewable. It happened with Tuzo, with Castle but EC NEVER LEARNS OR ARE PREOCCUPPIED WITH MONEY MINTING SCHEMES.

  • Jamriambo says:


    Full squad:
    Bonface Oluoch 29,
    Shabaan Odhoji 16
    , Fredrick Odhiambo 1
    , Musa Mohamed 5,
    Haroun Shakava 18
    , Wellington Ochieng 4
    , Godfrey Walusimbi 2
    , Innocent Wafula 14,
    Wesley Onguso 21
    , Charles Momanyi 27,
    Ernest Wendo 20,
    Joachim Oluoch 15,
    Joash Onyango 12,
    Humphrey Mieno 30
    , Lawrence Juma 24,
    Bernard Ondiek 17,
    Philemon Otieno 26,
    Stephen Otieno 33,
    Jacques Tuyisenge 9,
    Medie Kagere 22
    , Bonface Omondi 11
    , Francis Kahata 8,
    George Odhiambo 25,
    Kevin Omondi 34
    , Ephraim Guikan 19
    , Jean Baptiste 7
    , Samuel Onyango 6
    , Alpha Onyango 23,
    Cercidy Okeyo 10
    Eliu Lokuwam 32.

  • Oduor12 says:

    Muguna’s name not on the list so ” the highest transfer fee in Kenya’s football” has been paid to GMFC and is in the club’s bank account. EC shouldn’t cry wolf, absolutely no reason (another one) why a honest EC cannot finance club for the first 3 months including CAF matches. Not forgetting money for “building the stadium” is also there. No reason to panic unless officials were lying!

    • Jamriambo says:

      Reports are emerging that Gor Cartels sold him to Tirania already and his name is on the list of players for that team this season. Question is who are these cartels who sell Gor Players and the club gets nothing?

  • rodneyochieng says:

    sponsorship mafans tuko

    issue ni now that musa n muguna are gone could we get adequate cover ….

    I saw this coming tb Could deals for sam and atudo(to replace musa due to experiene n maturity as at now we only have young lads like shakava, monyanyi to slot in)

    ama get either duo of benard from vihiga or maurice ojwang from sima …….. dont tell us of joash and joachim pilis

    get us a centerback and a more worthy replacement of musa(I prefer benard if not atudo and if we miss the two then slot to maurice ojwang)

    koso nade jodala…….. Gor must remain sirkal as it is to st the pace then ojana moko tokaber loan nyale muigarenza, lukwom n steve.., joachim and even joash…etc to create space there….

  • Jasego says:

    Musa Mohammed idhii kure bwana,stay in Mayienga you are the owner ya kikosi,Captain mzima.Turkey issorait but KF Tirana no need any player following Ze Maria there will regrer as he will most probably not last long there while his penchant for filling the team with africans from Kenya and Uganda wea he already bought Yunus Ssentanu and Tony Mawejje,add Muguna,Musa and 3 more he wants plus two Ghanaians and a Cameroonian first 11 will be very racist in eyes of any european coach who will replace him then mass contract terminations with unpaid dues will follow suit.Ask Kahata,Kagere,James Situma et al…

  • Le Pastre says:

    Musa is still a Gor Mahia player, that’s the information that I have. Anybody with a proven contrary info must let us into it now. May God guide and bless you all as you support Mayienga.