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The ‘Slum Boys’ have hailed the latest sponsorship signed by the local federation saying it will help improve the top-flight

Mathare United have described the deal as “a huge facelift” for Kenyan football after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) announced a sponsorship package with StarTimes.

On Tuesday, FKF President Nick Mwendwa confirmed they had signed a seven-year deal worth $1.1million dollars with the Chinese-owned Pay-TV channel to transmit live top-flight matches, national teams for both men and women, and also 30 matches in the National Super League (NSL), which is the lower-tier.

The deal according to Mwendwa, will start effectively immediately and will see StarTimes televise the upcoming friendly match between Kenya’s Harambee Stars against Zambia in Nairobi on October 11.

And on Wednesday, StarTimes officially confirmed the new partnership through their social media pages, though they could not divulge more details.

“StarTimes have acquired media and broadcast rights from FKF for the FKF Premier League for the next seven years starting with the 2020-2021 season,” the firm confirmed on their social media pages.

“The deal also includes national teams [men and women] and 30 National Super League (NSL) matches.

“StarTimes, your new home of football!”

Mathare United through CEO Jakctone Obure have welcomed the latest move by stating it will revive Kenya’s football.

“It is a very positive deal,” Obure told the club’s Twitter handle. “A step in the right direction, a facelift for our league which has endured a difficult three or four years since the last major TV deal.

“Aside from the monies that clubs will earn directly from this, the deal will also play a huge role in placing clubs at a vantage position to appeal to the cooperate market and get investors to come in with sponsorship deals.”

Obure added: “A televised league will also appeal to scouts and as such, it is a win-win on all fronts and as Mathare United, we welcome it with both hands.”

Kenyan Premier League was switched off air at the start of last season after South African-based pay-TV channel SuperSport withdrew from airing matches, citing a breach of contract.

This was after FKF under the new boss Mwendwa moved to extend the top-tier from 16 to 18 teams, a move the broadcasting corporation said was not in the contract and hence they decided to walk away.

The news also comes just a few days after FKF officially took over the running of the Kenyan league from KPL, after their term of office expired on September 24.

It is also good news for FKF, who two months ago also signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Nigerian betting firm BetKing worth Sh1.2 billion, for Kenya Premier League (KPL) and the Women Premier League.

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September 30, 2020
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