Former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Sam Nyamweya has appealed to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) to rethink their decision to end sponsorship of several sports outfits.
KPLC this week announced that they will terminate its sponsorship to Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Western Stima by the end of June.
The decision also affects National Super League sides Coast Stima and Nairobi Stima which are all sponsored by the company.
“We the football stakeholders were disappointed by the announcement by Kenya Power of withdrawing sponsorship from three of its football teams participating in the KPL and the second-tier Super league, citing adverse business environment owing to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the former FKF president said.
“While it is understandable, we kindly request that KPLC rethinks this position.
He added: “It is without a doubt that the KPLC has consistently and over the years supported football through the innovative Charity Cup and by sponsoring their own Company branded football teams.
“The immediate casualties of withdrawal of sponosrship are Western Stima FC, a top KPL club, which has produced some of the best players that have played for Harambee Stars. NSL sides Nairobi Stima who finished fourth and their sister club Coast Stima are important teams in Kenyan football.”
In the event KPLC fail to reverse the decision, Nyamweya has proposed that power company helps the clubs to transition back to community ownership.
“Kenya Power and Lighting Company should consider reverting Coast Stima Football club to its original status as a community club based in Mombasa and revert to its previous name Coast United FC.
“The County Government of Mombasa through His Excellency Governor Ali Joho considers sponsoring Coast United which, for all intents and purposes, represents the football face of the Coastal Community and specifically that of Mombasa without prejudice to Bandari FC and Modern Coast Rangers, equally teams from Mombasa County.
For Nairobi Stima, the experienced administrator challenged the County Government of Nairobi to adopt the NSL team and rebrand it to Nairobi County FC.
For the Kisumu-based side Western Stima, Nyamweya said: “Western Stima FC, whose name connotes close association with western region counties, should consider relocating to the North Rift Region and be adopted, sponsored and rebranded by either Uasin Gishu County Government, Trans Nzoia County Government, Nandi County or Elgeyo Marakwet County Government.
“The rationale for the relocation of Western Stima to the North Rift region is three-fold: one the North Rift Region has not had a team in the top tier league for a while. Two, there is enormous talent in the North Rift Region that can be harnessed to make the team a powerhouse in Kenyan football.
He added: “Kakamega County is sponsoring Kakamega Homeboyz and Kisumu County is Sponsoring Kisumu All-stars and it will be highly unlikely for the two Counties to sponsor an additional team and more so a top tier team whose budget is quite high.”
He believes switching to community-based clubs will be a way out for players of the affected clubs after the departure of Kenya Power.
“It is my considered opinion that if my proposal is well received and accepted it will cushion the players from loss of income.”