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KPL warns of life ban for players caught in match fixing

Players and match officials caught fixing matches in the Kenyan Premier League will be banned for life, the competition’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda has warned.

Oguda was responding to growing concerns that the newly unveiled title sponsorship deal between the top flight football league and betting firm SportPesa, estimated at more than Sh 300 million, would lure players and officials in the competition into fixing matches.

“This deal isn’t a first. We have several leagues and clubs in the world that have sponsorship arrangements with betting firms. But then the rule is clear, any player of official who is found guilty of engaging in match fixing in Kenya at any level will be banned for life,” Oguda said.

SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri said that the firm has hired experts to “monitor” the betting patterns in all the competitions it engages in.

GRANTS TO CLUBS

“When there are any incidents of match fixing it is the betting firm which loses the most. At the moment our lowest bet can be placed on Sh 100 while the highest goes for Sh 20,000. So to safeguard against any irregularities, we have some people who monitor the bets and odds all through and report suspicious activity on when all over sudden a sizeable number of people are backing a small team to win a certain game,” Karauri reported.

Oguda, who also confirmed KPL had as part of this deal agreed on a frame work to curb hooliganism, added that the 16 Kenyan Premier League will be entitled to substantial grants in this new deal, which is reported to be worth almost two times the previous deal between KPL and East African Breweries.

“The grants and prize monies will remain the same for this season, but then, from next year we will sit down and restructure everything. Our policy is to ensure 65 percent of all our sponsorship proceeds are channeled towards our clubs, with the rest going towards administrative and logistical expenses,” Oguda said.