Betting firm SportPesa have rolled out a 2022 Qatar World Cup project after entering into a three and half year partnership with English Premier League giants Arsenal FC.
The deal that was signed at Emirates Stadium in London, will focus on grassroots football including player and coach development, with Arsenal providing coaches to conduct five-day training camps in Kenya twice a year. Following the agreement, SportPesa has become the Official betting partner of Arsenal Football Club in Kenya.
Ronald Karauri, SportPesa CEO, said: “It has been a long journey but we finally struck the deal. The deal entails achieving our dream of taking Kenya to 2022 World Cup. The partnership will see talent scouts from Arsenal identify good footballers.
“The camps will be hosting 100 players but we have not come up with the procedure of player selection. We will find a way of identifying the people who will be involved in the project so that we don’t leave anybody out.”
Arsenal Chief Commercial Officer, Vinai Venkatesham said the club’s aim is to ensure Kenya adopts the Gunner’s style of playing football that entails keeping the ball on the ground, passing, team work and speed of thought.
He confirmed: “We have launched our latest commercial partnership with SportPesa, and they become our first betting partner that Arsenal has ever had in Kenya where we have a large fan base.
“Grassroots development is important. We will send our very own coaches to Kenya to coach children and teach them to play football in a style we call the Arsenal way. Our coaches can’t be in Kenya all year round, so we will be training coaches and teach them what they need to impact on the children.”
The camps will help to support the initiatives that SportPesa already have in place to identify and nurture talent at a grassroots level.
Arsenal fans in Kenya will be offered a range of club-related benefits, including official merchandise and match tickets to see the team in action at Emirates Stadium. And Kenyan football administrators will be offered opportunities to meet and learn from expert Arsenal staff responsible for stadium management and security.
Ronald Karauri added: “With such a deal, Arsenal will be beneficiaries because we will have free tickets to reward them each season. However, this is not Arsenal’s fans only because at the end of the day it’s about developing football in Kenya and the road to 2022. We will be looking to partner with other EPL clubs to sign deals.”