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Ingwe, SportPesa deal unveiled

AFC Leopards and sports betting firm, SportPesa on Wednesday unveiled a five-year sponsorship deal that is expected to usher in financial stability at the club.

Under the package, Leopards will receive Sh45 million annually over the period while SportPesa will have their name emblazoned on the shirts of the team.

Leopards, under the Interim Management Committee, had previously signed two separate deals rivals firms Betway and SportPesa.

One faction led by club chairman, Mathews Opwora had entered into a three-year deal with Betway, while the other camp, under the leadership of co-chair, Dan Mule, signed another deal with SportPesa.

As a result, Mule and his camp lodged a complaint at the Sports Disputes Tribunal, seeking their guidance on the matter.

And after weeks of mediation by the tribunal chairman, John Ohaga, and the hearing of presentations by both firms, the club’s warring factions settled for SportPesa as the most viable option.

IMPROVED SPONSORSHIP

“As a result of our intervention, the sponsorship this club will enjoy improved by 50 percent. The negotiations were long and, at times, we held meetings late into the night. My call is now for the club to work together because football is played on the pitch,” Ohaga said.

Mule, on his part said: “We are fully committed to promoting the image of SportPesa and that of the club. We are also fully committed to dealing with the isolated cases of hooliganism.”

Mule also said the club’s Interim Management Committee will strive to have free and fair elections to usher in new leadership.

Football Kenya Federation president, Nick Mwendwa, who was in attendance hailed the coming on board of the sponsors.

“I’ve personally run a club (Kariobangi Sharks) for 14 years and never had a shirt sponsor and what SportPesa is doing is breaking the ceiling. When everyone is running away, they are coming on board. What we now need is elections (at Leopards) so that we have one leadership.”

The event was however snubbed by chairman, Opwora.