BOOST FOR K'OGALO

Gor Mahia land Sh240m Sportpesa deal

Rachier said they are elated to have the firm back as their shirt sponsors

In Summary

•Rachier asked former players and staff to desist from reporting the club to the world football governing body, Fifa saying some of the challenges the club faced were beyond control.

•Rachier said they are elated to have the firm back as their shirt sponsors.

Gor Mahia squad after receiving sh240,000 boost from SportPesa
Gor Mahia squad after receiving sh240,000 boost from SportPesa
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Record Kenyan Premier League champions, Gor Mahia, on Friday unveiled betting firm Sportpesa as their new shirt sponsors on a three-year Sh80 million annual sponsorship deal.

The deal comes barely a week after K'Ogalo cut ties with local gaming firm Betafriq.

Speaking during a colourful ceremony held at Sarit Centre in Westlands, Nairobi, club chairman Ambrose Rachier described their partnership with Sportpesa as a special marriage made in heaven.

Rachier said they are elated to have the firm back as their shirt sponsors.

“I want to congratulate Ronald Karauri on his election as Kasarani MP. We thank Sportpesa for standing with us. They did not walk out on us. Something happened that forced us to part ways,” Rachier said.

“They have been the best sponsors we've had since 1968 when the club was formed. We've gone to Britain to play Everton and Hull City courtesy of Sportpesa.”

Rachier asked former players and staff to desist from reporting the club to the world football governing body, Fifa saying some of the challenges the club faced were beyond control.

“We've had various difficulties, one aggravated by Covid-19. It was never our intention to skip paying salaries. We didn't have money to do so.”

“This partnership took a very short time to execute, actually a day. Karauri worked overtime, even picking my calls during parliamentary sessions.”

“I hope that this marriage will last for a very long time. “We should gauge what we read on social media. I cannot respond to crap. Most of you are out there writing nonsense.”

Gor Mahia skipper Philemon Otieno pledged a splendid performance in the new season.

“I want to thank our new partners for coming back as our sponsors. We promise them a good performance. We won't let them down,” Otieno said.

Sportpesa chief executive officer, Karauri said they were glad to strike a partnership with K'Ogalo for the second time in the club's history.

“I want to thank Rachier for making this happen. In our history, we've achieved so much with Gor. This is not only business. Mostly we were driven by the urge to improve the welfare of Gor Mahia players,” Karauri said.

He pointed out that their previous partnership was nipped in the bud by an extreme tax regime put in place by the government. “Sometimes you fly so high that people start thinking about clipping your wings.”

“I agree with KPL clubs that we need to go back to a Fifa- sanctioned league and we shall ensure that happens. We want to get our football back to where it was before,” Karauri said.

“We thank you for allowing our relationship to foster. We are here today because of the good relationship we enjoyed in the past.”

Molo MP Francis Kimani who also attended the function said they would introduce new laws to encourage the development of talent in the country.

“We established a tax regime that drove away betting firms. We are going to review our laws to make the atmosphere conducive,” Kimani said.

“Talent must pay. We shall make sure talent pay one's bills,” he added.

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