Betting firm Sportpesa has said that it will withdrawal local sport sponsorship . Ronald Karauri has said that the withdrawal will be effective immediately and all clubs and federations that the company sponsors.
This move by Sportpesa appears to be a blackmail to the Kenyan government as the withdrawal of sponsorship only affects local clubs and federations . The company sponsors international clubs such as Arsenal, Everton and South Hampton which do not seem to be affected by the withdrawal.
The betting firm had moved to court to challenge the 35% tax implication on betting companies. Ronald Karauri said that the withdrawal of the SH. 600 million to clubs and companies would allow them to stay afloat after the tax implication.
Justice Mativo in his ruling said that he did not see the tax legislation infringing the petitioners (Sportpesa) rights property as the were aimed at serving a particular public interest. Read
“I find and hold that the new taxes do not infringe on the petitioners’ rights to property since they are aimed at serving a legitimate public interest. The legislation was legally enacted and it overrides the legitimate expectations of the betting firms,” Justice Mativo ordered.
Ronald Karauri has however said that Sports Pesa will appeal the decision by justice John Mativo and has even asked for a sitting with the president to resolve the issue.
“We will appeal the case since it was grounded on equity and fairness in taxation. You can only be optimistic for so long, we cannot shoulder the burden and keep our employees and business running. We will be very limited in what we can do,” he noted
Sportpesa has placed the burden on the government to shoulder the cost for teams that have lined match ups. This teams include Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards that were set to participate in the Cecafa senior challenge .