Betting firm SportPesa is up in arms after Yanga SC, one of the Tanzanian football clubs it sponsors, signed a separate shirt sponsorship deal with electronics company Haier for their Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederations Cup campaign.
SportPesa is accusing the club of breaching their contract, maintaining that it has exclusive rights to shirt sponsorship of the club. Yanga last week unveiled the deal with Haier worth Ksh79 million for their CAF CC campaign.
Yanga and SportPesa Tanzania in July 2022 signed a three-year sponsorship deal worth Ksh639 million – equivalent to around Ksh213 million a season. Gambling shirt sponsors are presently not permitted in the CAF Champions League or CAF Confederations Cup early stages.
SportPesa had supported the ‘Visit Tanzania’ replacement of its logo in recent seasons for continental campaigns for the Tanzanian clubs it sponsors, including Yanga’s rivals Simba, and sought to have a similar campaign run in Yanga’s current continental outing.
“Yanga’s request to get another sponsor for the next stage of the CAF competition was in breach of our agreements and was very disappointing when presented to us. SportPesa is fully aware of CAF directives and rules and had used the “Visit Tanzania” slogan for a replacement of our assets to be used in compliance of the conditions required by CAF,” SportPesa Tanzania shared in a statement on Wednesday, February 1.
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“This Visit Tanzania alternative campaign had successfully promoted the entire country for the previous two previous CAF seasons, but our proposal was rejected as the club had already decided to sell these rights regardless of the existing contractual terms with SportPesa,” the company claimed.
Notably, SportPesa in its statement asserted that it “reserved the right to seek compensation and recourse from the relevant authorities for the damages caused.”
In a separate statement issued earlier, Yanga president Hersi Said told local outlets that Sportpesa had ‘understood’ the situation, while asserting that the betting firm would continue to be their shirt sponsor in the Premier League and other competitions.
“As you know, we already qualified for the group stage of the Confederation Cup and the coming in of Haier is going to help us a lot in terms of economic stability,” he stated.
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