Sportpesa commits to settle outstanding KothBiro prize money

KothBiro organizers have a reason to smile after sports betting firm Sportpesa committed to pay the remainder of the 2019 winners’ prize money. The organizers of the annual grass root soccer tournament’s financial plans were thrown into disarray after the betting firm ceased partnership mid-tournament.

Kingstone Fc was crowned winners of the championship after edging out Allin Jua Kali 7-6 via post-match penalties. Following the win, Kingstone was set to receive Ksh.300,000 while second and third-place finishers received Ksh.150,000 and Ksh.80,000 respectively.

Despite the issuance of a dummy Cheque to winners at the conclusion of the tournament at Ziwani Grounds in January 2022 the full amount wasn’t remitted. This forced organizers to look elsewhere for funds so as to pay the winners.

“The Cheque was presented on the final day but no money was paid and at some point, the KothBiro organizers were accused of embezzling the money however after a while Sportpesa gave us half the agreed amount while the rest hasn’t been paid.We have talked to Ronald Karauri who acknowledged of not being aware of the unpaid amount and has promised to pay it off “

– remarked tournament director Issa Musa who also revealed the progress thus far;

“We have been in contact with them (Sportpesa) and they said they are writing an email to us this week which will see the pending money paid and this will enable us to pay service providers, suppliers, match stewards, and match officials whom we still owe money and also discuss the possibility of partnering with them in this year’s edition ”.

The 2020 edition was however held despite the pending bills a situation that at times resulted in the disruption of matches alleged to have been instigated by protesting fans of clubs whose dues weren’t settled yet.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri said the outstanding payment will be made in earnest.

“Now you have made me aware if there’s any money that we owe KothBiro we will make sure it’s paid” –  Stated Karauri.

Sportpesa, ran into headwinds with the Kenyan government with the Betting Control And Licensing Board, BCLB, announcing the revocation of its operating license in October 2019. The company however re-entered the market through Milestone Games in October 2020.

The firm saw its operations significantly reduced, maintaining minimum visibility, and was forced to drop several sponsorship partnerships with Kenyan football clubs and Kenya Rugby Union in austerity measures.

Sportpesa is however still keen on reclaiming a share in the gambling market and was recently unveiled as Kenyan Premier League side Gor Mahia FC’s new shirt sponsor.


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