Betting firm SportPesa has suspended the sponsorship packages of local giants, Gor Mahia FC and AFC Leopards over hooliganism with immediate effect.
Company’s CEO Ronald Karauri announced the development at a press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday afternoon.
“As sponsors we won’t sit back and watch our brand soiled. There are clubs that feel are above the law and we take this not kindly. We are disappointed because when we signed the sponsorship with the team, they pledged they would take control of the hooliganism problem but it is clear they have failed. We know the clubs know these hooligans and must take action,” furious Karauri charged.
The CEO announced they would meet with the club’s management to chart the way forward but they would not compromise their hard stance against the vice.
Karauri explained they had decided to take stern action to prevent clashes that could lead the loss of lives akin to the 2010 incident where seven fans lost their lives in a stampede when the two teams clashed at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
“That cannot be married with our brand,” he insisted.
Speaking at the same function, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president, Nick Mwendwa, issued tough guidelines on clubs and individuals engaging in hooliganism acts.