SportPesa terms Caf decision on jersey sponsorship ‘unfair’
Betting firm SportPesa have termed as ‘unfair’ the decision by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to bar Gor Mahia and Simba SC from donning branded kits in their continental matches.
SportPesa Chief Executive Ronald Karauri insists it doesn’t make economic sense for the gaming firm to bankroll these two clubs in sponsorship money to the tune of tens of millions of shillings, then be denied brand visibility by tournament organizers.
“I believe it’s unfair because it’s quite unprecedented. Then again as sponsors, we have been a big part of them (Gor Mahia and Simba) qualifying for the tournament,” said Karauri.
“When Barclays were sponsoring the (English) Premier League, they never barred Liverpool from having Standard Chartered on their shirts, even though they were barred from perimeter boards.
“This is something that can affect club sponsorship if the sponsors are barred from such tournaments because, for example why take care of the expensive travel and accommodation expenses if you have been barred from the tournament as sponsors?” posed Karauri.
Gor Mahia and Simba have been forced to compete in the group stages of Caf Confederation Cup and Caf Champions League respectively, without donning SportPesa branded kits.
This will continue this weekend with the Kenyan champions face NA Hussein Dey in Algeria. The same applies to Simba’s home match against Congolese club Vital ‘O’ in a week’s time.
According to Caf, this ban – which has also affected top South African club Orlando Pirates – was enforced so as to protect the economic interests of one of the tournament’s sponsors who incidentally is SportPesa’s rival.
“Kindly be informed that the club is not authorized to put the mentioned publicity during the Total Caf Confederations Cup 2019 as it contradicts with the competition sponsor ‘1XBET’,” read Caf’s statement in part.
This ban will be enforced for the remainder of this tournament.
Caf has offered Simba and Gor Mahia an alternative to don jerseys with another sponsor but both clubs are yet to take up this option.