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Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards to miss continental championships as Sportpesa withdraws sponsorship

Kenya Premier League champions Gor Mahia FC and Gotv champions AFC Leopards may not take part in this year’s Confederation of African Football (CAF) following the withdrawal of their sponsor Sportpesa.

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SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri with La Ligas President Javier Tebas during the deal signing ceremony

The Kenyan football giants may withdraw from the 2018 Champions League and Confederations Cup competitions respectively following the announcement by Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri withdrawal of all their sponsorship today.

The move has plunged Kenyan sporting industry into crisis after Sportpesa lost a case last week challenging the implementation of a 35 percent Government tax on revenue that came in force on Monday.

“Unfortunately, we lost the case and effective immediately and we regret this decision, we have no choice but to cancel all sponsorship we have as SportPesa,” Karauri announced confirming fears that have been circulating since Thursday when the court ruled against the firm.

Gor chairman, Ambrose Rachier, said they would hold a crisis meeting later Tuesday where they would write to continental body, CAF, stating their withdrawal from the 2018 Champions League.

“A one-way air ticket is costing KSh3.5m, accommodation, KSh3m and we will need KSh10m for one match, to and from and we cannot sustain that budget.

“Our gate collections are not enough to cater for that expense and also pay players and technical bench, we are in dilemma. This is tantamount to killing football in the country. No Kenyan club is going to successfully stay in the 2018 KPL,” Rachier lamented.

His Leopards counterpart, Dan Mule, also said his team will follow suit and withdraw from the 2018 CAF Confederations Cup.

“We have no sponsors right now. We are going to withdraw from CAF assignments. We are urging other like-minded corporates to emulate SportPesa and support community clubs in Kenya.

“I don’t know how we will pay the 10 international players we have signed ahead of the season,” Mule told.

Additional information Sportpesa media

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