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Safaricom boot Sakata over FKF ‘tariff’ demands

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31- Safaricom have cancelled the launch of the Sakata Ball Season 3 on Thursday after declining to give in to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) who were demanding a fifth of the sponsorship fee to sanction the event.

“In its letter to Safaricom dated May 30, the FKF demanded to be paid 20 percent of the total sponsorship cost of the tournament as administration fees half of which was to be paid prior to its launch, failing which it would disown the event.

“We have been holding discussions with FKF for the last four months and we have written commitments from them expressing their support for this event and our contribution to local football development generally including the possibility of sponsoring FKF leagues in future,” a statement from the company said.

“It is therefore a painful decision for us to cancel the launch, but a necessary one in the context of the unreasonable demands that have been placed on us,” Safaricom added.

By the time of posting, FKF top brass were locked in a meeting over Saturday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier featuring Harambee Stars and Malawi and could not be reached for comment.

The Safaricom Sakata Ball Challenge was first launched in 2010 as a boys’ only tournament before girls were included in the second edition last year.

Today, ex-Sakata players comprise 90% of the U 20 girls’ football team while others like Abdi Malik have played for both the U-20 team and Harambee Stars.

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