High taxation on betting firms to cost local clubs

Kenya football giants AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia are set to lose sponsorship if the 50 percent gross tax bill on betting firms is enacted.

Speaking to the press in Nairobi today, AFC chairperson Dan Mule said that they have been served with a letter to terminate their sponsorship deal with Sportpesa if parliament passes the bill into law.

Football clubs in Kenya have struggled to attract corporate sponsorships in the recent past, but it is disappointing to see that the government is hindering corporate entities to pump money into the business of sports, Added Mule.

He further said that they do not oppose paying of taxes, but pleaded with government to offer conducive environment for companies in the country.

Both clubs have had very turbulent financial times in the recent past and are likely to drift back if the bill is passed.

Sportpesa in February signed a sponsorship deal with champions Gor Mahia, estimated at Sh 50 million per season for five seasons, and another 40 million sponsorship deal with AFC Leopards on similar periods.

Football Kenya Federations CEO Robert Muthomi said that the ailing sports industry had started to witness a glimmer of hope, but shall inevitably crumble with the current state.

We hereby wish to request the ministry and parliament to reconsider the decision and allow for dialogue with stakeholders before this punitive and self-defeating tax regime is introduced, he said

Muthomi further said that they strongly believe as a federation that it is not the government intention to render thousands of youths in sports industry jobless, but they will reconsider their stand.

The CEO also said that the popularity of the sponsorships had provided an alternative social activity for thousands of fans during the season. This in effect strengthens our social fabric and creates a thriving informal economy during match days at the stadia.

FKF National League, Motorsports, Kenya Boxing Association and the Kenya Rugby Union also received the termination letter from their official sponsor Sportpesa.

Source: Kenya News Agency