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Betika sponsors Sofapaka

After years of financial crisis, former Kenyan champions Sofapaka Friday signed a three-year deal worth Sh50 million with online betting Betika.

The deal also has a renewal option after the initial three years if both parties will be happy with the partnership.

During the unveiling ceremony, Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa said that it was a huge relief to have financial support at last, before declaring that his team will challenge for the SportPesa Premier League this season.

“This has been a good team. Everybody who follows Kenyan football knows what achievements this club has achieved,” said Kalekwa.

“I am very happy to announce this partnership, and I thank Betika for coming to the rescue of the youth who play for Sofapaka. I thank them for their faith in our team, even though we have gone through very difficult times over the last 12 months. We promise not to let you down.”

Sofapaka have indeed gone through difficult times in the recent past, and survived relegation on the last day of the season last term.

Having won the league on their maiden season in 2009, they recorded their worst performance last season, and this was majorly down to their lack of a sponsor.

Kalekwa himself was outside the country during that period, and appeared only briefly in midseason when the club signed 23 players to replace an equal number who had quit due to tough working conditions.

But having beaten Thika United 5-1 on the final day of the season in Machakos to evade the chop, Sofapaka suffered yet another setback early this year, as they failed to meet the requirements for club licensing and were subsequently demoted to the National Super League by Football Kenya Federation.

A ruling from the Sports Disputes Tribunal last month however saw them reinstated to the top flight.

Upon their return to the league, Batoto ba Mungu recorded a 1-0 loss to Sony Sugar in Nakuru, but bounced back in their subsequent game with an emphatic 3-1 win over Western Stima in Kisumu.

Betika General Manager Lucy Muchira challenged Sofapaka to clinch the league this year.

“When we launched Betika, it was our dream to be able to give back to the community by finding various ways of growing local sports. You have done it before, and I am looking forward to lifting this year’s title with you,” she said.

Daily Nation

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