Blow for Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards as Betsafe ends sponsorship
Football Kenya Federation Premier League giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards suffered a major blow Friday after betting firm Betsafe terminated its partnership with one year left on the deal.
Betsafe and the two clubs signed a three-year shirt sponsorship deal worth Sh270 million for both teams cumulatively two years ago.
This means the clubs, which are already financially crippled, will be forced to look for a new sponsor.
AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda and Gor Mahia Secretary General Sam Ochola confirmed the development. They remained optimistic that they will get new sponsors before next season.
“It is true we have received a letter from Betsafe confirming the termination of their sponsorship with us. They have cited difficulties in their business operations which have been in existence since coronavirus hit the country two years ago,” said Shikanda.
“As AFC Leopards we want to thank them because they have assisted us financially and our operations with them have been very smooth. We now have to focus on getting a new sponsor before next season kicks off and I believe we shall succeed.”
Ochola said club chairman Ambrose Rachier would issue a communication on the issue later.
“Our focus is now on getting the money for the Madaraka Cup which we won and we understand the government has released it but has not reached us,” said Ochola.
Betsafe CEO Victor Sudi was not available for comment on the matter.
In an interview with Nation Sport last month, Sudi said they had plans to continue investing in football but mostly in grassroot tournaments.
Initially, Gor and AFC Leopards were receiving Sh55 million and Sh40 million per season respectively before the amount was reduced by a half in July 2021 due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic. AFC Leopards were receiving Sh20 million from the reduction while Gor a slightly higher amount.
Betsafe has also been awarding the best players every month for both clubs who have been getting Sh25,000 token and a personalised trophy.
The withdrawal comes at a time Kenyan football is in quagmire due to a Fifa suspension since February.
Apart from Leopards and Gor, Betsafe have been sponsoring Dagoretti Super Cup, Siaya Super Cup, Francis Thairu Cup in Kawangware, Babadogo Super Cup among others.