SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri has come out to oppose the government’s financial support to broke Kenyan Premier League giants Gor Mahia.
K’Ogalo, and many other Kenyan sports clubs have been enduring torrid times due to lack of funds in the recent past, the government being their last hope.
This is especially after betting firm SportPesa announced their exit from the country citing unfriendly business environment.
Ahead of their Caf Confederation return leg tie against Congolese outfit DC Motema Pembe, the government through the ministry of Sports, issued Gor Mahia with air tickets to Congo and promised to foot other travel-related bills.
“We have given Gor Mahia air tickets and are also sorting out other issues pertinent to their travel. The Government wishes them all the best as they represent the country,” PS Amb. Kirimi Kaberia said.
But in an unexpected comment, SportPesa chief Ronald Karauri, on Friday morning, insisted that paying bills to Gor Mahia in that capacity, is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.
“It is indeed good news that Gor Mahia are getting the support they need from government at this time, but is it really fair to offer support to one team when all teams are struggling to even show up for matches and pay their players? I think it is a waste of taxpayers’ money,” he tweeted.
It is indeed good news that @OfficialGMFC are getting the support they need from government at this time, but is it really fair to offer support to one team when all teams are struggling to even show up for matches and pay their players? I think it is a waste of taxpayers money..
— Capt. Ronald Karauri (@KarauriR) November 1, 2019
Karauri went ahead to explain what is required of the government and used English Premier League side Arsenal and La Liga giants Barcelona as good examples. He says the government should only offer conducive environment for cooperates to support sports.
“When did you last hear governments offering financial support to Arsenal or Barcelona? Government should ensure national teams are adequately funded and sports infrastructure is adequate, but also support the sport ecosystem to ensure private teams don’t struggle for funding.
“For Government to fund PRIVATE sports entities. I hope the news of the Starlets breaking camp due to lack of funding was fake. What they should do is make a conducive environment for corporates to support sport and thus build from the grassroots,” he said.
Before SportPesa’s exit, they sponsored Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Kenyan Premier League, Rugby, Boxing and many other sports genres.