Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and BetKing have entered into a mutual agreement to end the title sponsorship of the Kenyan Premier League and Division One League online gaming operator.
Nigeria-based BetKing in July last year signed a five-year deal worth around KES 1.2bn (Â£ 7.9m / â¬ 9.4m / $ 11 million) to sponsor both competitions.
However, FKF and BetKing reached a deal to end the deal four years earlier, with the operator stepping down as title sponsor with immediate effect.
FKF did not disclose the reasons for these decisions, but said they appreciated BetKing’s “support and partnership over the past season”.
“Without reservation, FKF confirms that the support received from BetKing has played a crucial role in promoting the growth of local football,” said FKF. âThe FKF confirms that the support from BetKing Kenya has been immense and has helped support the football development programs of the FKF to a considerable extent.
âBetKing Kenya also appreciates the opportunity to sponsor the leagues in line with the BetKing brand mission. BetKing remains committed to participating in the growth of Kenya’s sports talent, especially at the local level, through strong and long-term partnerships.
The initial deal saw BetKing become the first major Premier League title sponsor since SportPesa pulled out of the Kenyan market in 2019.
The league had been without an official sponsor since Kenya’s largest betting operator Sportpesa ceased all sponsorship in its home country in August 2019 after a dispute with authorities over taxes. This has left several clubs across the country asking for donations from fans in order to continue paying players.
The deal with BetKing had seen Premier League clubs receive KSS 8.0million.
SportPesa has since returned to the market, restarting operations in November of last year.
His criticism of proposed tax laws in the country and his pressure on the government prompted the country to pass new regulations last month, with President Uhuru Kenyatta enacting a new 7.5% betting tax, a reduction from to the 20% offered.