SportPesa has cancelled all sports sponsorships due to impasse with the government over new betting taxes laws. There has been a prolonged battle between KRA and the industry, with KRA accusing the firm for failing to comply with the new gambling laws and regulations.
The cancelling of sponsorship will affect 90% sports and clubs in the country. Already, Kenyan sports is suffering due to acute lack of funds with the government itself playing cat and mouse in financing national teams going out for assignments despite the existence of the Sports Fund.
The betting firm is the leading sponsors of sports in the country and the announcement will throw most of the entities, notably the Kenyan Premier League, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards into disarray.
The national women’s basketball team left the country for the FIBA Afrobasket Championship in Dakar, Senegal with zero funding from the government.
SportPesa also sponsors boxer Fatuma Zarika as well as the Football Kenya Federation Shield.
In a statement on Friday, the firm said, “We regrettably wish to announce that due to the uncertainty of this situation SportPesa will be cancelling sports sponsorships effective immediately.All clubs and partners will have received notices as provided for in their contracts.”
The industry said it has been subjected to punitive measures by regulators such as delayed license renewal and the suspension of Paybill numbers, which have reduced the level of business operations.