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Mariga: Betting firms should invest in footballers, not influencers

By Wangu Kanuri December 14th, 2022 2 min read

McDonald Mariga has implored betting companies to invest in footballers as much as they do in content creators and social media influencers.

The ex-star footballer, in a television interview, reasoned that betting companies should consider flying retired footballers to watch the Fifa World Cup in Qatar alongside content creators.

According to Mariga, the experience of watching a Fifa World Cup match live in the stadium will help motivate Kenyan footballers to strive and play at that level.

“The Fifa World Cup is about football so these betting companies should consider taking players over there, not just footballers,” said Mariga, who recently earned millions in his role as the brand ambassador of gaming firm Betin.

Content creators Eve Mungai, Jacky Vike aka Awinja, Lawrence Macharia aka Terence Creative, and Carol Radull were among the influencers ferried to Qatar by betting companies.

AFC Leopards captain Eugene Mukangula, former Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech, and former Gor Mahia forward Bramwell Karamoja have also benefitted from a similar initiative.

Mariga, who statistically is Kenya’s most successful footballer of all time, also reasoned Kenyan football has been bogged down by poor management.

“For football to develop, we have to kill cartels and we have to do it by force by fire,” he said.

Mariga featured for among other teams, Italian side Inter Milan under famed coach Jose Mourinho and won the Italian league and Champions League titles in 2010.

He quit football in 2019 after niggling injuries and switched to politics where he twice lost in his bid to be elected Kibra lawmaker on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.

Mariga, elder sibling of former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama, has also backed Argentina to win the World Cup. Argentina, backed by star forward Lionel Messi, will face either Morocco or France in Sunday’s final after beating Croatia 3-0 in Tuesday’s semis.

“This World Cup I’m supporting all African teams and Argentina. Now I’m supporting Morocco and Argentina but I think the latter will win. Messi is the best player so far,” he said.

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