The blissful partnership between record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia and betting firm Sportpesa has come to an abrupt end.
Sportpesa conveyed the devastating decision to cut short the fruitful partnership on 9th August 2019 citing the current impasse between them and the government that has paralyzed operations at the erstwhile market leader for more than one month.
“The Betting Control and Licensing Board delayed in approving our license and thereafter directed telecommunications firms to shut down our paybill numbers thereby completely paralyzing our operations. This is despite the existence of a court order prohibiting the regulator from taking such an action.”
“These actions have brought about immense pressure on our business and as a result we are unable to fulfill any of our obligations to you as stipulated in the current contract between us.”
“We value your partnership and sincerely regret this parting of ways but the decision has been necessitated by circumstances beyond our control,” read excerpts of the letter signed by Sportpesa Chief Executive Officer Captain Ronald Karauri
The timing could not be worse for the club with the new season (2019-2020) beckoning. Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier who doubles up as Kenyan Premier League chairman owing to the club’s status as title holders appealed to the government to reconsider their stance to save the football industry from imminent collapse.
“I’m urging the government to see sense so they don’t kill sports in our country. Football particularly benefits greatly from these sponsorships and the decision is going to have far reaching consequences these is another letter in similar terms addressed to KPL.”
As a club we may soon grind to a halt unable to pay salaries and cover other operational costs since Sportpesa was our sole commercial partner,” Rachier candidly said
Gor Mahia face Burundi outfit Aigle Noir of Burundi in the CAF Champions League preliminary stage on Sunday evening in Bujumbura.