English Premier League side Everton announced that it will end its sponsorship with SportPesa, a deal that still had two years to run at the end of the 2019/2020 league season.
After the devastating news, Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri blamed Kenyans for the downfall of Sportspesa. Responding to tweets from city lawyer Donald Kipkorir which appeared to support Everton’s decision, Karuri accused unnamed Kenyans of “bringing down their own”.
“The biggest betting company in the world – Bet365 – resides in England. Kenyans love bringing down their own, and now the same Bet365 is probably the most popular betting site in Kenya, more revenue for them and more tax revenue for the UK,” he replied.
As a result of the story that lighted up the internet, Kipkorir went on to explain to Karauri how English associations terminated contracts with betting firms.
“English FA & Irish Football Association terminated their contracts with betting companies & football clubs & tennis associations followed suit. We have moral obligation to discourage betting & gambling companies in poor countries. We should promote entrepreneurship not gambling,” Kipkorir responded.
This is so far from the truth. The biggest betting company in the world – Bet365 resides in England. Kenyans love bringing down their own, and now the same Bet 365 is probably the most popular betting site in Kenya, more revenue for them and more tax revenue for the UK. https://t.co/C8qiJr30G7
— Capt. Ronald Karauri (@KarauriR) February 17, 2020
SportPesa has been Everton’s main partner since 2017 but still boasts other deals with English Championship side Hull City, Italian top-flight club Torino, Tanzanian sides, Yanga, Simba, Singida United and Namungo as well as South Africa’s Cape Town City.
Last year, Sportpesa withdrew sponsorship deals with Kenyan sports firms including Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Kenyan Premier League, Football Kenya Federation, and Kenya Rugby Union after the government temporarily cancelled its betting licence.