Nairobi News

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SuperSport welcome Wario’s intervention

Employees of Pay-Tv channel SuperSport are understood to be “relieved” after President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts Hassan Wario released statements in support of the company’s activities and that of its partner the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) in the past few days.

Officials of the South African based company were initially said to be unsettled by a myriad of events in the past few weeks, particularly linked to the wrangling involving the KPL and top officials of the local football federation as  pertains the league’s composition and structure.

This is after the federation announced a raft of changes including the expansion of the league from 16 to 18 teams next season, a move that if implemented will contravene the contract between SuperSport and KPL.

Furthermore, reports linking the federation with rival Pay-Tv channels in regards to a new broadcast deal means is likely to strip SuperSport – which has pumped in billions of shillings in the country – of one of its biggest investment, thus rendering several of its highly-paid staff redundant.

“The SuperSport family was very concerned about their futures because nobody could quite know what the national body is up to. But following the Government’s statement, we can now rest easy,” an employee of the company told Nairobi News.

FEDERATION’S REJOINDER

On Thursday, Wario told the federation to “put its house in order and keep off KPL” during a State House function that was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Sponsorship by SuperSport is very important to the visibility of football in Kenya. We have heard so many voices on the possibility of disbanding KPL, we are saying under your leadership, His Excellency, that will not happen,” Wario said during the function where President Kenyatta hosted GOtv Shield winners Sofapaka.

Meanwhile, the federation on Friday issued a rejoinder to the Sports Cabinet Secretary.

“Much as we respect our sponsors and appreciate the work KPL has done, as a federation we are not going to cede our mandate, our role, our responsibility and our independence to any institution which purports to hide behind the Sports Ministry because in doing that we shall be going against our own constitution and the Caf/Fifa Statues from where we draw our mandate,” a statement by the national body read in part.

The statement more or less implies this battle for supremacy in the league is far from over, though in the meantime, it seems SuperSport employees can rest easy.