Oguda: Battle between Kenyan government and betting firms poses a threat to KPL

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Sportpesa sponsors the league and the two most followed clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards in Kenya

The move by the government not to renew licenses for the betting firm has thrown the preparations for the new Kenyan Premier League season into disarray.

KPL is bankrolled by betting firm Sportpesa and the move to cancel operation licenses for 27 firms including Sportpesa is sure to cause panic in KPL management bodies. KPL chief executive officer Jack Oguda fears the ongoing battle between the government and the gambling firms might spell doom for the upcoming 2019/20 season.

Sportpesa also sponsors two of the KPL's most successful clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

“It’s a worrying situation for the league, Kenyan football and the two big clubs who are sponsored by SportPesa. We may be on the receiving end of the unending tussles with the government which dents the preparations and running of the new season. We know they are battling in court and we are positive that they will extend their financial assistance," Oguda told The Star.

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Oguda further revealed futile negotiations so far to engage other entities to sponsor the league.

“We have had negotiations with other cooperates but so far we have not had positive feedback. We have also written to the Sports Cabinet Secretary (Amina Mohammed) to help us get money from the Sports Fund but nothing has come out yet. Even as we keep on waiting for a response, we hope SportPesa will remain," he concluded.

The new season is set to start at the end of August.

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