Irish football association terminates SportPesa deal

Just 11 months after Football Association of Ireland (FAI) introduced African operator SportPesa as one of its commercial partners at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, FAI decided to terminate the two-year sponsorship deal.

FAI said it made the decision to terminate SportPesa’s contract ahead of schedule because the association is reassessing its partnership portfolio.

“We thank SportPesa for their sponsorship and their professionalism over the course of this deal. We wish the company well with its diversification strategy,” an FAI spokesman said.

SportPesa which was founded in 2014 in Nairobi and has operations in Tanzania, South Africa, Italy, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the UK issued a statement: “The partnership had been dissolved by mutual agreement. We respect that the FAI has decided to shift its priorities and re-evaluate its partnerships portfolio.

As an organisation that takes responsible gambling incredibly seriously, we understand the new approach taken by the FAI towards its partnerships with those in the gaming sector.”

The end of the partnership is another blow for the operator, following Kenyan government refusal to renew its betting license last year due to concerns over the rapid rise of gambling addiction and tax compliance issues. SportPesa halted operations in Kenya and expressed disappointment with the 20 per cent excise tax on all betting stakes.

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