Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) have teamed up with betting company Sportpesa and South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics to organize a SH8.5 million awards gala for excellent footballers in 2015.
The awards, previously conducted by KPL will henceforth be renamed KPL/SJAK Footballer of the Year Awards. As a result of the joint venture, the most valuable player from the Sportpesa Premier League this year will pocket Sh1 million and a 42 inch television set courtesy of LG Electronics.
The gala, launched yesterday at a Nairobi hotel is a big improvement from previous years where most valuable player pocketed just Sh 200000.
Under the new partnership, best goalkeeper and top scorer will each take home half a million shillings in addition to 42 inch televisions sets while their runners up pocket Sh300000 and gold plated clocks. Second runners up in those categories will each pocket Sh200000 and silver plated clocks. Defender of the year and midfielder of the year will be awarded Sh300000 and 42 inch television sets while coach of the year will pocket a similar amount.
LG Electronics will provide a total of 10 television sets for ten category winners out of the 13. The South Korean giants will also award ten gold plated and ten silver plated clocks to first and second runners up in ten select categories. Sportpesa have contributed Sh3.71 million for the cash awards.
The red carpet dinner gala will be held on 9th December at Safari Park Hotel. The sixteen coaches in charge of KPL clubs will nominate players in all the categories and another list of nominees from sports journalists will also be forwarded to SAK Football Commission which will then scrutinize all nominees before voting for the best three.
KPL Chief executive Jack Oguda said the awards will stir perfection among players and increase competition in the league next year as all players will be eying end of year awards. “WE are grateful to SJAK, Sportpesa and LG for helping revamp this awards gala. It really will help increase the level of competition in our league and the quality of what we get. The players will get better as a result and it will reflect in the national team as well.” Oguda said
The awards prize money are likely to increase again next season as alluded to SJAK president Chris Mbaisi and Sportpesa Chief Marketer Kester Muhanji. Muhanji said for the local league to grow and level other top leagues, the players must strive for perfection and such awards are the recipe for improvement.
“It is a first step from us and we will work towards making it bigger in the coming seasons so that the players see the need to improve their performance. When they do that the quality of our game will match other top leagues within the region and in Europe as well.” he said
LG Electronics have also pledged improved input in the coming season. Marketing manager Moses Marji said their partnership with SJAK started barely four months prior but an improved deal was in the offing for next season. “WE want the local game to improve and so we’ll do more for the players in partnership with SJAK. We have conducted player of the month awards this year and it is something we wish to improve on as well.” Marji said at the launch yesterday