Kakamega Homeboyz and Kariobangi Sharks excellent displays in the Kenya Premier League last season were handsomely rewarded as gaming firm, SportPesa roped them in the second edition of the SportPesa Super Cup set for June 3-13 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. The two replaced last year’s participants Tusker and National Super League side, Nakuru All Stars.
The Super Cup tournament, which involves four Kenyan clubs and a similar number from Tanzania, will provide the winner with a rare opportunity of facing English side, Everton at Goodison Park after the World Cup. The gaming firm stuck with Gor and Leopards as part of their sponsorship deals before selecting two top teams from last season’s Kenya Premier League table.
SportPesa settled for Sharks by virtue of finishing third in their maiden KPL season while Homeboyz were rewarded for finishing fifth.
SportPesa chief marketing officer, Kelvin Twissa revealed that they skipped the 2017 league runners up Sofapaka and Rangers who finished fourth, owing to their current shirt sponsors. Sofapaka are sponsored by Bentika while Ranger have Elitebet as their sponsors. “We did not invite Sofapaka and Rangers because they are sponsored by firms who are our direct competitors. We are looking forward to a successful second edition,” he said.
Tanzania is set to send the football powerhouse duo of Simba and Yanga while Singida FC and Zanzibar-based Jeshi La Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) will complete the four.
Welcoming the invitation, Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula said: “It’s a great honour for us to be considered for the tournament. I am happy with SportPesa for considering a club based outside the capital. We promise to give a good account of ourselves and hopefully we will dethrone Gor Mahia.”
His Gor counterpart Ambrose Rachier ,who doubles up as the Kenya Premier League chairman, expressed confidence with his players in defending the title they won last year in Dar-es-salaam. He said despite the fixture congestion puzzle his side is facing, they will fight for the ticket to play Everton again. “We have 28 fit players and all are able to perform well. As the defending champions of the title, we will certainly be putting our best foot forward to retain the title. We urge all the other teams to do the same to ensure the level of competition remains high.”
The winning team will be given a token of US$30,000 (Ksh3,000,000). The second and third placed teams will pocket US$10,000 (Sh1million) and US$7,500 (Sh750,000) respectively. The quarter finalists in the knockout tournament will take home Us$2,500 (Sh250,000) while the fourth finisher will earn a club US$5,000 (Sh500,000).