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Cash-strapped Kenyans contacted SuperSport to sponsor KPL

10:18 GMT+3 12/10/2019
The league body's chairman reveals they have approached the South-African company to return as their broadcast partners

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) chairman Ambrose Rachier has admitted they have approached pay-TV channel SuperSport over a possible return to the Kenyan market.

The South African-based company terminated their deal with the league body two years ago, citing a breach of contract. The contract between KPL and SuperSport, which was signed in April 2017, was initially set to run until 2021.

However, the decision by KPL to uphold the ruling by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) which directed they increase the composition of teams in the top tier from 16 teams to 18, forced SuperSport to withdraw their television rights and financial support.

The withdrawal of betting firm SportPesa, who left the Kenyan market for good citing an unfavourable business environment, has left KPL without a sponsor and already a total of seven clubs have written a petition to have the league halted until a solution is reached.

Rachier now says the exit of SportPesa has opened them to the possibility of a reunion with SuperSport and they have already tabled a proposal.

“We have been pursuing a possible reunion with SuperSport as our league broadcaster for the second time,” Rachier is quoted by The Star.

“We have written to them [SuperSport] but we are yet to get a response from them. We are not certain they will consider the Kenyan market but we are hopeful that they will come back.”

On Friday, KPL CEO Jack Oguda confirmed to Goal they were facing hard times without a sponsor on board and said for the league to be stopped, it must be a decision taken by the governing council.

“We have received another letter from Mathare United, Sony Sugar, Kisumu All-Stars and Chemelil Sugar demanding we suspend the league,” Oguda told Goal on Friday.

“It is a very tough situation we find ourselves in because some teams claim they are not able to meet their day to day activities because their accounts are dry while some clubs feel the league should continue as we source for a sponsor.”

Oguda now insists it is only the Governing Council that can take the decision to suspend the league.

“The decision to stop the league can only be discussed during the Governing Council meeting, they are the only organ who can give the way forward,” Oguda continued.

Kenya’s top giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are among the teams without sponsorship following the exit of SportPesa.