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KPL can be best in Africa, says La Liga chief

Kenyan Premier League chairman Ambrose Rachier (left) and La Liga chairman Javier Tebas (right) pose for a photo after signing a partnership agreement between the two leagues in Nairobi on May 11, 2017.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11– The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) has the potential to be one of the best in Africa, according to La Liga president Javier Tebas.

Tebas, speaking to Capital Sport on the sidelines of the signing of a three-year partnership with the KPL said the Spanish league managers are ready to give their Kenyan counterparts as much help as they can to ensure the dream comes to reality.

“We came here because when we talked with the representatives from Kenya last year, we saw a lot of potential. There is passion for football in Kenya just like there is in Spain and we can use this passion to grow the game. For us it is important to help Kenya achieve their targets,” Tebas said.

Kenyan Premier League chairman Ambrose Rachier and his La Liga counterpart Javier Tebas pose for a photo after signing a partnership agreement between the two leagues in Nairobi on May 11, 2017.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

He also noted the partnership will help build the audience and fan base of the Spanish La Liga in the country and the continent as a whole, aiming to reach the same heights the English Premier League has.

“That is exactly what we want. In three years, our dream is to make La Liga one of the biggest in the world,” the 54-year old Spanish Costa Rican born football administrator noted.

Kenya is set to benefit in terms of capacity building from the three-year renewable partnership with La Liga already having sent a permanent representative in Kenya, Oliver Dodd who will be based at the KPL offices in Westlands.

Among the benefits the partnership is going to yield for the local league including conducting coaching clinic by coaches from Spain who will mostly put their attention on the KPL teams’ junior sides as well as training of club managers.

“Cubs can learn from the La Liga especially in terms of better management and commercialization of the league. That is what has put the La Liga up above there. We hope to help the Kenyan teams learn and put this into practice,” Tebas added.

Spanish ambassador to Kenya Javier García de Viedma Bernaldo de Quirós speaks during the unveiling of the KPL La Liga partnership in Nairobi, Kenya on may 11, 2017.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

La Liga will also help KPL structure and commercialize its broadcast rights especially now that the league lacks a broadcast partner with South African Pay TV company SuperSport having terminated their contract in March.

“The Kenyan Premier League in particular and Kenyan football in general are set to benefit immensely from KPL’s partnership with the best of the best in world football. LaLiga will provide capacity building support which will benefit clubs, players, coaches, medical personnel, club administrators, and the community,” KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier said during the launch on Thursday morning.

La Liga is also set to help Kenyan clubs get exposed and accustomed to the latest trends in modern professional football management including in fields of communication, match analysis tools and software, player health and safety, coaching and player development techniques.

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Among other things planned is for a KPL select team to travel for friendly matches in Spain during off season just like it happened with a select team travelling to the United Kingdom to play English Premier League side Hull City.

Kenyan Premier League chairman Ambrose Rachier and La Liga chairman Javier Tebas signing a partnership agreement between the two leagues in Nairobi on May 11, 2017.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

KPL and La Liga are also set to work with social and community projects and engage in activities which will give back to the society through sponsoring of annual off-the-season football tournaments with kits, footballs, playing boots, and other equipment.

“La Liga is a very valuable partner and it is my call to clubs owners and administrators, players, coaches, medical personnel, as well as the media to take the challenge of putting into practice the lessons which will be learnt from our association with La Liga seriously,” Rachier further said.

The new partnership will also open up doors for more Kenyans to move to the Spanish La Liga. Up to date, only one Kenyan, MacDonald Mariga has featured in the La Liga having played for Real Sociedad on loan from Inter Milan between 2011 and 2012.

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