Kenyan Premier League Limited chairman Ambrose Rachier (left) and  president of La Liga Mr Javier Tebas during the announcement of the partnership on May 11, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESYKenyan Premier League Limited chairman Ambrose Rachier (left) and president of La Liga Mr Javier Tebas during the announcement of the partnership on May 11, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY
By DAVID KWALIMWA

Kenyan Premier League players will soon test their skills against world stars such as Lionel Messi, Neymar Junior, Cristiano Ronaldo and Antonio Griezman.

This follows the signing of partnership between the Kenyan Premier League Limited and its Spanish equivalent in Nairobi on Thursday.

Under the terms of the partnership, a friendly match between an All-Star Kenyan Premier League team and a Spanish La Liga club “in the coming days” is on the cards.

The identity of the Spanish club was however not revealed.

Kenyan Premier League Limited chairman Ambrose Rachier, who also doubles up as Gor Mahia chairman, announced the partnership.

He spoke at a Nairobi hotel at a media briefing attended by the president of La Liga Mr Javier Tebas, La Liga Director of  Audio Visual Mr Melcior Soler and the Spanish Ambassador to Kenya Mr Javier García de Viedma Bernaldo de Quirós.

POPULARISING SPANISH LEAGUE

Mr Rachier explained that the Kenyan Premier League Limited will on its part assist in popularising the Spanish league in Kenya.

“La Liga’s status as the number one league in the world is not in question. The competition has produced the most Ballon d’Or winners, the most FIFA World of the Year winners, the most UEFA Champions League winners, the most UEFA Europa League winners,” said Mr Rachier.

“The impact of La Liga’s presence in Kenya will be felt across all levels since through the
enhancement of their popularity in Kenya. La Liga will provide capacity building support which
will benefit clubs, players, coaches, medical personnel, club owners/club administrators, and
the community,” he added.

The announcement comes barely three months after another All-Star Kenyan Premier League squad, dubbed the SportPesa All Stars squad, recently lost 2-1 to English Premier League club Hull City’s developmental squad in a friendly match played in England.

Latina midfielder Macdonald Mariga is the only Kenyan to have played in the Spanish league following his stint at Real Socieadad in 2012.