Teams sponsored in dilemma after withdrawal of support

Thursday, January 30th, 2020 00:00 |
Western Stima chairman Laban Jobita looks gloomy as he follows a recent league match between Stima and Tusker at Ruaraka Stadium. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Football sides Western Stima, Nairobi Stima and Coast Stima are staring at a bleak future after Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC) suspended sponsorship of all their sporting activities.

The news came as a shock to the three sides which feature in the Kenyan Premier League and National Super League as they join a long list of local teams that include Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Sony Sugar and Nakumatt FC who have lost their title sponsors.

According to an insider, KPLC is keen to offload non-essential services so as to save money but Western Stima chairman Laban Jobita believes there is a chance to address concerns.

“I received an email from headquarters in Kisumu that sponsorship for all sporting activities has been suspended.

Obviously I was shocked but it is my undertaking that I will do a meeting urgently or rather soon with Human Resource to chat the way forward.

It is a period of great uncertainty but I will give an assurance that my team is not going down no matter what.

We will continue with our games while figuring out solutions by all means and this is why engaging the KPLC Management is crucial for us,” Jobita told People Sport.

Interestingly, the two other affected sides; Coast Stima and Nairobi Stima are speaking a different language altogether.

Speaking to People Sport separately, the leadership of Coast Stima and Nairobi Stima who participate in the second tier Betika Super League have received no official communication as yet regarding the sponsorship stalemate by the state corporation.

According to Nairobi Stima chairman Johnson Sakwa, nobody has told them anything apart from what they have been reading in a section of the media, so all is well for them as at now, at least according to him.

“We treat all this as rumours because the headquarters has not provided anything substantive or official. Our teams are run by regional managers on behalf of the company.

Everything for us goes on as planned because every year we do a budget of operations and so far nothing changed.

We can confirm and anybody can attest that we will be on the pitch come Saturday until otherwise advised.

All teams under KPLC have approved budgets for every season so I do not believe we can have an impromptu pull out,” he said.

Coast Stima boss David Opiyo on his part suggested that the whole buzz around sponsorship debacle was actually a miscommunication.

“My view is that a lot of misinformation that is not accurate is doing rounds. One of the Senior Managers had questioned the budget numbers and wondered why they had exceeded limits.

All was sorted and I can confirm that we even got an email from HR clearing and approving our allocated budget.

As far as we know, Management continues to support us well enough,” he said.

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