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Betika pumps Sh35m in Sofapaka sponsorship

Sofapaka owner Elly Kalekwa with Betika’s Head of Commercial John Mbatia during the launch of the new sponsorship on October 16, 2019

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – At a time when the Kenyan Premier League is grappling with financial difficulty, 2009 champions Sofapaka have received a shot on the arm with betting firm Betika renewing their partnership for another year at a cost of Sh35mn.

This is an improvement of Sh20mn over what the club was getting from the betting firm.

The two parties had initially agreed on a Sh50mn per season deal in 2007 but the same was scaled down to Sh15mn after the company failed to financially shoulder the new betting tax rules introduced by the government.

The deal was initially set to last for three years and with it coming to an end this year, a new deal has been signed.

“We have been partnering with Sofapaka for the last few years and we are glad with the growth they have had and the benefits that have come from this partnership. We are ready to support them even more especially with our community initiatives,” Betika’s Head of Commercial John Mbatia said during the launch on Wednesday morning.

Sofapaka owner Elly Kalekwa with Betika’s Head of Commercial John Mbatia and some of the club’s players during the launch of the new sponsorship on October 16, 2019

Sofapaka was one of the clubs whose players were going months without pay after the proceeds from the sponsorship was slashed but they will have an easier season this time round as they seek an assault for the Kenyan Premier League crown.

“We are glad to see the partnership with Betika growing, They came in at a time when we were facing difficult times and we were almost being demoted from the league due to club licensing issues. Through their input, our performance on the pitch has improved and we hope to do more and better,” Sofapaka owner Elly Kalekwa said.

He added; “Our target this season is to fight for the title and this financial help they have given us will go a long way in motivating the players.”

The club will now stabilize for the remaining part of the campaign.

There has been a clamor by several KPL clubs to have the league halted due to financial difficulty with many clubs left suffering after the exit of SportPesa as the league’s official title sponsors.

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Gor Mahia and AFC leopards who were also relying on the gaming firm have since declared their struggles, each stretching begging bowls on the streets to ensure survival.

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