Gor Mahia's selective support from government not fair - Karauri

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Nicholas Kipkirui of Gor Mahia vs DC Motema Pembe.
Goal Kenya.
The state has often rescued K'Ogalo to honour continental matches and the investor claims such support should be extended to other teams

Former SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri has criticised the government for what he calls "selective support" for Gor Mahia.

Since the exit of SportPesa from the Kenyan market, Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards and the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) have struggled financially as they depended on the betting firm's sponsorship.

But the government, through the ministry of sports, have bailed K'Ogalo out financially in order to honour their Caf Confederation Cup and Champions League matches.

“It is indeed good news that Gor Mahia are getting the support they need from government at this time, but is it really fair to offer support to one team when all teams are struggling to even show up for matches and pay their players?” Karauri asked on his Twitter handle.

"I think it is a waste of taxpayers’ money for the government to fund private sports entities."

He also registered his frustration on the tussle between the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the government over the funding of the women's national football team.

Initially, the FKF had announced the Harambee Starlets had broken their camp due to lack of funds ahead of their Tokyo 202 Olympic Games qualifier against Zambia.

The queens returned to camp after the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Ambassador Amina Mohamed, ordered the release of funds to cater for their budget.

“I hope the news of the [Harambee] Starlets breaking camp due to a lack of funding was fake. What they [government] should do is make a conducive environment for corporates to support sport and thus build from the grassroots,” argued Karauri.

He urged the state to help create an environment where local teams will become viable and self-sufficient and follow the examples of established teams in the world.

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“When did you last hear governments offering financial support to Arsenal or Barcelona? The government should ensure national teams are adequately funded and sports infrastructure is adequate but also support the sports ecosystem to ensure private teams don’t struggle for funding,” he concluded.

The 2019/20 KPL season is running without a title sponsor and three walkovers have already been registered due to the financial constraints after SportPesa's exit.