By Arnold Olando
Local football tournaments such as Kothbiro Offseason tournament are set to experience hardships in terms of sponsorship after their main sponsors SportPesa operations license was suspended by the government.
The government suspended operating licenses of 27 gaming firms including SportPesa who sponsor the Kenyan primer league and the Kothbiro Off-season tournament.
Speaking to ghetto radio sports Koth Biro Official Issa says that Kothbiro is on its 41 edition making it the oldest tournament in Kenya, which has solely been receiving sponsorship from SportPesa.
“Without SportPesa sponsorship the fate of Kothbiro tournament is set to collapse with all hopes left to well-wishers,” he stated.
Kothbiro offseason tournament has brought out almost 90 percent of the national team players since the 80’s such as Mahmmud Abass, Boby Ogolla, Swale Oswayo and Sammy Owine showing that local football has more potential and talent.
SportPesa has been instrumental in developing football in the country and has been providing new kits for the teams participating as well as the handsome kitty used as the tournament’s prize money.
Other than Kothbiro, SportPesa sponsors two of the top clubs in the Kenyan Premier League, Gor Mahia FC and AFC Leopards SC as well as their infamous Kits for Africa initiative that provides jerseys, balls and boots to grassroots teams that cannot afford the basics.
The kits from SportPesa’s international partners go a long way in offering hope to the heaps of young, local talent that the country has to offer and it is easy to see how the suspension of the gaming firm will slow down the gradual development of the sport.