KPL’s latest partnership opens Spanish Liga doors

La Liga president Javier Tebas present ball to Kenyan Premier League chairman Ambrose Rachier when ...
La Liga president Javier Tebas present ball to Kenyan Premier League chairman Ambrose Rachier when the La Liga boss paid a courtesy call to League body offices in Nairobi, Kenya on May 10, 2017. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

A partnership unveiled on Thursday between Spanish La Liga and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) will see a local All Stars team travel to Spain every year for a learning tour among other benefits.

The deal was announced at a Nairobi hotel in the presence of KPL Limited Executive members and La Liga representatives led by president Javier Tebas.

Speaking during the unveiling, Tebas underscored the deal is among their diverse expansion strategies internationally with keen interest in Africa, terming Kenya a priority.

The last All Stars team that was assembled played a Select XI side from English Premier League (EPL) club, Hull City losing 2-1 at the KC Stadium in February this year.

“The coming of La Liga to Kenya is a big statement that moves us a step further from just watching our teams on TV and reading in newspapers to a vibrant partnership.

“No doubt our presence here will be of mutual benefit and some key areas of football development in Kenya will enjoy a big boost,” Tebas charged.

In the same development, Oliver Dodd has been appointed to lead La Liga’s business in Kenya, with the aim of promoting the league’s activities in the country.

Dodd will be based at the KPL headquarters in the Kenyan capital, and will be firstly involved in organising the KPL All Stars trip to Spain.

KPL Limited Chairman Ambrose Rachier was chuffed at the partnership saying the Spaniards entry to Kenya opens a new chapter of football growth in all aspects.

“The impact of La Liga’s presence in Kenya will be felt across all levels since through the enhancement of their popularity in Kenya, they will provide capacity building benefiting clubs, players, coaches, medical personnel, club owners and club administrators.

“Their operations in Kenya will see KPL  and Clubs exposed and accustomed to the latest trends in modern professional football management, marketing, communication, match analysis tools and software, player health and safety, evolutionary coaching and player development techniques,” Rachier observed.

Rachier, also the Gor Mahia club chairman, hailed the Spanish topflight as the best globally, noting Kenya could not learn from a better football powerhouse.

“La Liga’s status as the number one league in the world is not in question. The league has produced the most Ballon d’Or winners, the most FIFA World of the Year winners, the most UEFA Champions League winners, the most UEFA Europa League winners.

“KPL in particular and Kenyan football in general will therefore benefit immensely from KPL’s partnership with the best of the best,” offered Rachier.

The partnership will also see the two sides engage in social and community projects aimed at giving back to the society through sponsoring of annual off-the-season football tournaments with kits, footballs, playing boots, and other equipment.

The agreement comes just three weeks after official sponsors of the KPL,  announced a partnership with La Liga.

McDonald Mariga is the only Kenyan to have played for a Spanish side, in 2011 when he was sent by Inter Milan on a season-long loan to Real Sociedad.

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