AFC Leopards players celebrates winning the 2017 GOtv Shields on October 20 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLOAFC Leopards players celebrates winning the 2017 GOtv Shields on October 20 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO
By DAVID KWALIMWA

Cash strapped AFC Leopards will honour Sunday’s high-billed KPL Super Cup clash with arch rivals Gor Mahia after the timely and welcome intervention of ‘friend’ of the club.

The club’s organizing secretary Timothy Lilumbi confirmed this to Nairobi News on Friday.

“A friend has given us some money and we will now be able to travel to Nakuru. He doesn’t wish to be named so we have to respect his wish. Without him, we wouldn’t have been able to travel and honour the fixture,” he said.

Although the identity of the said ‘friend’ could not be immediately verified, sources close to the club revealed the Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja was due to meet the players later on Friday afternoon.

Earlier on Friday morning, club officials were mulling over the implications of not honouring the match owing to a lack of funds.

Leopards is on the financial red in the wake of gaming firm SportPesa’s withdrawal of its sponsorship to the club and all other sports entities in the country early this month.

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SportPesa’s sponsorship deal to the club was valued at Sh55 million each year at the start of 2018.

Deputy President William Ruto and Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia have in the past promised that the government will fund Leopards and any other entity affected by the pullout but as yet, no funds have been forthcoming.

Leopards, who won the GOtv Shield last season are primed to meet Kenyan Premier Champions Gor Mahia in a game that will mark the start of the 2018 season.

The match will be played at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, with kick off slated for 3pm. Match tickets will go on sale on matchday at booths stationed outside the venue. VIP tickets will retail at Sh500 and terrace tickets will go for Sh300.

The game will be produced by Spain’s multi-communications group MediaPro and broadcast live on KTN.