Questions lined-up as FKF meet top league clubs over Sh 1.2b BetKing deal
A barrage of questions have been lined-up over the historical mega deal of Sh 1.2 billion towards the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) for the next five years, as Football Kenya Federation (FKF) bosses meet with all the top tier club chairmen via online meeting to deliberate on the finer details of the deal today.
The deal, the biggest in the history of Kenyan football was announced last week by FKF president Nick Mwendwa, but it raised a lot of queries from some of the local club bosses who complained of not being involved in the deal and questioning the authenticity of the Nigerian betting firm BetKing, prompting Mwendwa to convene today’s meeting.
“As you are aware the federation has signed a five-year deal worth Sh 1.2 billion with online betting firm BetKing, for official title sponsor and official betting partner of the FKF-Premier league.
The deal was negotiated and concluded in anticipation of the end of the contract between Football Kenya Federation and Kenya Premier League limited, with view to ensuring that our clubs, most of which have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic have a significant level of financial cushioning going into and beyond the 2020/2021 season,” Mwendwa wrote in his letter to the clubs.
He added: “In light of the aforementioned, and the need to better understand the finer details of the BetKing sponsorship deal and how the league will be run and managed post KPL, my office wishes to invite you for a zoom meeting on Wednesday July 22, 2020 at 10am.
Additionally, in the coming days the FKF CEO Barry Otieno will contact you in regard to your club bank account details, to enable the federation disburse funds in a timely manner.”
KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier who also doubles up as Gor Mahia boss said it was unfortunate that he had been put in darkness about the deal all along despite the fact that it was a deal for KPL where he is the head.
“There is nothing political here, but I know totally nothing about this intended sponsorship.
I just saw a tweet from Mwendwa and read reports on the media, nothing more and remember I’m the KPL and Gor Mahia chairman,” Rachier said.
He added: “I will be attending the meeting with a lot of questions, but for now i cannot condemn or praise a deal that i know nothing about.”
KPL sponsorship chairman Elly Kalekwa who is also the boss of former league champions Sofapaka also said he had not been consulted nor briefed about the deal and he will be seeking finer details and the truth about the whole deal.
“I can assure Kenyans that there is no existing deal with BetKing. From my investigations I have learned that Mwendwa plans to give each KPL club Sh 500,000 so that he can get votes to win the forthcoming elections and immediately after winning the second term, he will come out to say that he had sealed the deal, but the government’s strict rules on betting firms, made BetKing shy away.
Some people may fall into the trap, but not me,” said Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula.