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A lifeline for Kenyan football as Dafabet cleared to operate |

20th September, 07:31

The betting firm were the official sponsors of Shabana FC until the tussle with the Kenyan government over tax payments emerged

Kenyan football received a major boost on Friday after the government cleared betting firm Dafabet to start full operations.

The Asian company was among the betting firms whose licences were not renewed by the government over tax issues.

Their exit from the market rendered National Super League (NSL) side Shabana FC without a sponsor, as they were the main shirt partners.

But on Friday, the company confirmed in a statement seen by Goal they have complied fully with all the new government regulations and requirements and have already resumed services.

"Having complied fully with all new government regulations and requirements - international sports betting brand Dafabet has resumed all services to its growing customer base in Kenya," confirmed the statement seen by Goal.

"This includes a comprehensive offering of sports betting, virtual and jackpot games through the web, SMS, mobile as well as through its growing number of retail outlets.

"Dafabet Kenya - the flagship brand of Asia Betting and amp; Gaming Enterprises Limited - has announced that 290067 is its new and official MPESA PayBill Number."

A week ago, the cash-strapped Shabana almost missed their trip to Mombasa to honour their league match against Modern Coast Rangers. It needed the intervention of fans who raised money to help the team travel and they returned home with a 3-2 win.

The government's tussle with betting firms also saw SportPesa withdraw their sponsorship support for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) as well as Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

The Kenyan top-flight is yet to secure a title sponsor with teams currently operating without monthly grants.

Already in the NSL, teams have skipped matches owing to lack of funds, the latest being St. Josephs from Nakuru, who handed Shabana a walkover after they failed to travel to Kisii on Wednesday.