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Mwendwa: Kenyan football faces a bleak future without betting sponsors

08:55 WAT 23/07/2019
The Kenya FA boss pleads with the government to reach an amicable solution with betting firms before the new season kicks off

Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa believes they are facing a huge crisis following the government’s decision to crack down on betting firms.

As it stands, the federation will lose up to Sh600million in sponsorship if the government keeps its threat and kicks out some of the leading betting firms in the on-going standoff.

“We are looking at a huge loss translating to about Sh.600m. Without the betting firms, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards clubs will have no sponsor, Harambee Stars will suffer and our shield tournament will be non-existent,” Mwendwa told reporters.

Mwendwa has added he does not have a problem with the government regulations.

“The game needs money and all over the world, seventy percent of football sponsorships are from betting companies. I want to ask the government to remember us as they take whatever action they are undertaking.

“If they leave, we are staring at a very bleak future.”

Already Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards officials have also expressed concern on the crackdown, saying it will affect the team’s performance in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and continental assignments.

Gor Mahia will take part in the Caf Champions League in the new season. The government has declined to renew licenses of 27 betting firms for allegedly failing to comply with industry rules.

Among the biggest firms affected are SportPesa, Betway and Betin. The matter is currently in court but there seems to be no end in sight at the moment over the stand-off.