Report: Everton plan pre-season trip to Tanzania

Wednesday 22 March 2017  46 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton are apparently considering a friendly in Tanzania this summer as part of the expected sponsorship deal with SportPesa.

The Kenya-based betting outfit are set to be announced as the Blues's new shirt sponsors, replacing Thai beverage company Chang after more than a decade.

The Liverpool Echo report that head of football operations Dave Harrison and Dave Lewis, the club's head of security and stadium safety, flew to the African country this week to discuss a potential fixture with representatives from SportPesa's branch in that country, with the game most likely taking place at Tanzania Main National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.  

Reader Comments (46)

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Matthew Williams
2 Posted 22/03/2017 at 16:15:07
A good way to top up yer tan!
Brian Williams
3 Posted 22/03/2017 at 16:15:51
Hmmm... this should immediately be "unplanned".
Dermot Byrne
4 Posted 22/03/2017 at 16:18:52
Brian Williams
5 Posted 22/03/2017 at 16:25:55
From our own government site:

There is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Be vigilant at all times, especially in crowded areas and public places like transport hubs, hotels, restaurants and bars, and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events. Previous terrorist attacks in the region have targeted places where football matches are being viewed. The Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabaab based in Somalia poses a threat across the East Africa region.

Dermot Byrne
6 Posted 22/03/2017 at 16:32:53
You bored, Brian? The Foreign Office thinks everywhere is dangerous.
Tony Hill
7 Posted 22/03/2017 at 16:43:10
I think this is a very good idea if true. Africa is massively important and is going to become more important in football and generally over the coming years. One of our best players is African and we could steal a bit of a march here if we get our marketing right.
Darryl Ritchie
8 Posted 22/03/2017 at 18:03:59
Anywhere that is not Liverpool, or the UK, is a positive move.
Brian Williams
9 Posted 22/03/2017 at 18:07:49
No Dermot, not bored, just wondering who the hell came up with such a brilliant idea. Tanzania IS dangerous even compared to County Road on a Friday night!

As for marketing, bearing in mind only about 6% of Tanzania's population have a telly, how are we going to "steal a march"??

Liam Reilly
10 Posted 22/03/2017 at 18:09:45
Gonna have to be an early trip to be back in time for the Europa League.
Myles Noonan
11 Posted 22/03/2017 at 18:53:29
Seriously?? Given enough details of any pre-season game, I'd love to go to but check out the Government's advice page. Not for me thanks!

What are the club thinking! Obviously money talks.

Charlie Lloyd
12 Posted 22/03/2017 at 19:06:35
Nowhere near my preferred list of places to play a friendly.

Not signed the deal yet and it's a touch worrying that this company could demand we play games in certain places. If it's true obviously.

I know we visited the Far East to play but it was hardly much in support of the Chang deal.

Niall McIlhone
13 Posted 22/03/2017 at 19:26:23
It's a nice stadium, built by the Chinese, along with a fair bit of the developing infrastructure of Tanzania, all Chinese led, in return for raw materials such as sisal.

Having spend several weeks in the country, I can tell fellow blues that the Tanzanians love their football. Many will gather round TVs in local bars, and the "dala-dala" minibus taxis are often adorned with the badges of he "Sky Six" clubs. It would be nice to think that Everton's visit might spawn a spate of re-sprays of the dala dalas to our famous royal blue livery!

There would also be the chance for more intrepid fans to hop on a short flight to Zanzibar to the east and take in the delights of Stone Town. Watching the sun go down over the Indian Ocean is very memorable.

Steve Woods
14 Posted 22/03/2017 at 19:30:30
This one has my alarm bells ringing for a whole gamut of security reasons. I hope that the club's security advisor knows where he's at because this event has the potential to be a very high risk event indeed.
Phil Sammon
15 Posted 22/03/2017 at 19:31:37
Well, this should make Lukaku's decision a little easier.
Nigel Munford
16 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:20:01
Brian, Central London was a very dangerous place today; we were in lockdown in our office here.
Paul Johnson
17 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:30:13
Safer in Dar than Kenny High Street. Good cold beer and goat mbuzi. Give it a try.
Peter Fearon
18 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:30:40
This is, to all intents and purposes, a war zone. There are 99 things that can go badly wrong and if Everton's trip planners can anticipate half of them they are geniuses. That would still leave 49 or so potential disasters waiting to happen.
Steve Woods
19 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:51:39
Peter Fearon @ 19, absolutely spot on. This is something that is best avoided. Invite or better still insist they come over to Goodison and play it here.

For any of the various bad asses in that regionm a Premier League squad (taken or compromised) would be one hell of a big prize for them to do with as they choose!

Colin Glassar
20 Posted 22/03/2017 at 20:59:29
I heard the game is to be played on the slopes of the Kilimanjaro.
Len Hawkins
21 Posted 22/03/2017 at 21:00:27
Nigel (#17),

He should stick to advertising the tarts' cream he advertises along with his redneck pets.

Ash Fillingham
22 Posted 22/03/2017 at 21:24:45
Gotta say, my first reaction was pretty positive: gonna be in Tanzania (including Dar) this summer (for the third time in the last five years) and this would be, to say the least, a huge bonus!

Also, it's not "a war zone"... I've taken my kids there, FFS.

David Clark
23 Posted 22/03/2017 at 22:03:29
I went to Tanzania a few years ago with the kids on a Safari of the Northern Circuit. Flew into Kilimanjaro Airport and had a wonderful time there and it was safer than Kenya. Within the first group of people I saw was a guy wearing an Everton shirt – he was another Scouser though.

Agreed, it's not the most obvious place to play a friendly and the national team is not of a great standard. But, the people are warm and friendly. Give them a chance, guys – they'd love to have access to what we take for granted.

Steve Ferns
24 Posted 22/03/2017 at 22:04:40
They better be giving us a boat load of cash to even consider this. Why can't we get a decent sponsor? A random African betting company? Come on. Surely we can find better.
Don Alexander
25 Posted 22/03/2017 at 22:11:11
And here's me wondering if we'd ever top Hafnia, whatever they are.
Don Alexander
26 Posted 22/03/2017 at 22:13:04
Does this mean the new ground will be called "The Leaning Tower of ... "?
John Daley
27 Posted 22/03/2017 at 22:41:31
Hafnia was 'superior to Spam' ham in a can.

"You've never had Hafnia? You haven't lived, lad", was a taunt once aimed at The Littlest Hobo in an episode of the TV show of the same name, and several times at Leon Osman by 'Hibbo' being snide during lunch-breaks.

Paul Birmingham
28 Posted 22/03/2017 at 22:50:34
Looking to the future of EFC.

Based on what we think and know, and loads that we don't and will never know, let's hold and wait. Based on the acclaim and general good thumbs up the new ground proposal has received and is and as a major cynic, until the plans are shown, let's think that there is some nous in the leaders at the club. Tomorrow will be an interesting read on TW.

Fair enough, this country, is not a place I'd go now on pre-season, as a fan, but in the olde days, nowhere, was some where, but let's hope in line with the clubs ambitions, this is a venture with a plan.

The Skies won't be Grey For Ever!

Jim Hardin
29 Posted 22/03/2017 at 23:36:45
Yet another obscure foray into building an image where it will do the least good for the team. Would be better sending them the unsold kits from the last two seasons and all of the unused EPL, League Cup, and FA Cup Champions T-shirts and other clothing items for them to wear. (Common practice here in the USA to send the misprints and losing team items to developing countries for clothing and to mess with their sense of sports history, at least up until the last two years.)

So my Spurs fan son (the disowned one) will see the Spurs for the second time in just over two years, both here on American soil. Meanwhile, my Everton fan son (my favorite child) and I will have to content ourselves with Everton youth teams playing in Texas, and fading, yellowing photos of the last time Everton was over here.

New ownership and coach and still the same old Everton. Why is every day with Everton like "Groundhog Day" except without Sonny and Cher to wake me up?

On a more sobering note, my thoughts go out to the families of those injured, and especially those killed, today by another senseless attack. Hug your own a little tighter and even be nice to those rooting for that other team over there.

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 22/03/2017 at 00:02:08
Wow, nice timing, folks.

Posts about Tanzania being a "war zone" and a terror target today of all days.

As we have all been forcibly reminded, there is no truly safe place. We can choose to be cowed, or not.

On behalf of the TW Yanks, deepest condolences to all our UK friends.

Don Alexander
31 Posted 23/03/2017 at 00:41:13
Well said Jim Hardin. The way it seems to be going I regret to say that before I die I expect Everton will be sponsored by Pitcairn Island's "Scams-Are-Us" Corporation (HQ the British Virgin Islands, chairman used-to-be Sir PG).

The following is a recent African press investigation into those involved in the SportPesa "enterprise". I use the word "enterprise" in the way a brothel-owner may describe themselves as "entrepreneurs", the local population being royally fucked and paying for it;


The multinational club of millionaires behind SportPesa

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2016

A club of local and international investors spanning three continents is behind the mobile phone-based sports betting platform SportPesa, whose fame touched a new peak with Monday's signing of a 㾶 million (Sh1.321 billion) sponsorship deal with the English Premier League team Hull City.

In the club of deep-pocketed millionaires, whose ability to mint money has more than quadrupled with SportPesa's runaway success, are an ex-Kenya Airways pilot, a shrewd Nairobi businessman, a female veteran of the gambling industry, three Bulgarians and an American businessman.

Former chairman of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KAPA) Ronald Karauri, businessman Paul Wanderi Ndung'u and Asenath Wachera Maina, the brains behind the controversial ‘Shinda Smart' lottery, are the principal owners of SportPesa, the Business Daily can reveal.

Three investors from Bulgaria — Guerassim Nikolov of the ill-fated Toto 6/49 lottery, Valentina Nikolaeva Mineva and Ivan Kalpakchiev — as well as American businessman Gene Grand are also in the list of top shareholders of Pevans East Africa, the entity behind SportPesa.

Two other Kenyans, Francis Waweru Kiarie and Robert Kenneth Wanyoike Macharia, also have minority stakes in the betting firm, according to regulatory filings at the registrar of companies. Mr Karauri currently serves as the chief executive officer of SportPesa.

Mr Nikolov's Toto 6/49 lottery closed shop in 2011 under the weight of debts having operated in the market for about two years.

SportPesa grabbed global attention this week when it became Kenya's first company to sponsor a football team in the UK's lucrative topflight premier league, and topped it up with a betting deal with Southampton FC — the club Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama played for until his transfer to Totenham Hotspurs last month.

The three-year deal will see SportPesa's name and logo on Hull City's shirts when the next season begins in August.

SportPesa's sponsorship deal with Hull adds to a string of funding it has doled out to other sports entities at home including Kenya Rugby Union (Sh607 million), Kenyan Premier League (Sh450 million), Gor Mahia (Sh325 million) and AFC Leopards (Sh225 million).

Arsenal Football Club in February signed a partnership deal with SportPesa seeking to grow its fan base in Kenya by offering locals exclusive bets and offerings such as merchandise and tickets.

Another notable player on Kenya's betting industry is former Citizen TV presenter Julie Gichuru, who is a director at Acumen Communications, the owner and operator of mCHEZA, a sports betting platform.

Kenya's mobile phone-based sports betting industry has experienced phenomenal growth in the past couple of years, aided by the ease of placing bets online or through SMS and paying via mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money.

READ: Gambling firm Sportpesa inks deal with Airtel to grow users Th e re are now more than a dozen sports gambling platforms in Kenya, including Betway — the official sponsor of another English Premier League side, West Ham United — EliteBet, Betin, JustBet, Bet365, BetYetu, eazibet, Lucky2u, 256Bet, Royal Kenya Bets, and go-bet.

Kenya's gambling, gaming and lotteries sector is regulated by the Betting Control and Licensing Board. Both Mr Karauri and Mr Nikolov refused to comment on this story and declined to disclose how much money their company, SportPesa, makes from its runaway success in sports gambling.
SportPesa grosses a daily average of one million users placing bets averaging Sh100, besides the 300,000 gamblers who play the jackpot daily, said a source who cannot be named because she is not authorised to speak for the company.

Mr Karauri owns a six per cent stake in Pevans East Africa, the holding company, while Mr Nikolov has a 21 per cent shareholding.

The son of former Tigania MP Mathew Adams Karauri worked at Kenya Airways for more than a decade where he rose to the rank of captain. He left the troubled airline mid last year to try his hand in the world of betting.
Mr Ndung'u, who has a 17 per cent stake in SportPesa, is a major player at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, where he holds significant stakes in multiple firms.

The list of companies where he has shareholding includes KenGen (0.28 per cent), Kenya Re (2.3 million shares worth Sh45 million) and distressed retailer Uchumi where he holds 18.8 million shares currently valued at Sh57 million.

Besides the Nairobi bourse, the businessman recently expanded his interests in private equity, with the buyout of agriculture and hospitality equipment company G-North & Son from the Philip Ndegwa family.
Ms Wacera Maina, associated with the ‘Shinda Smart Sh90 million in 90 days' betting craze of June 2010, owns 21 per cent of SportPesa through her firm Flint (EA). Gene Grand, an American businessman, has a 21 per cent interest in the multi-billion shilling betting company.

Ms Maina's company, Flint, was both the lottery licence holder and premium rate service provider for the short code 6969.

A subsequent lottery dubbed ‘Shinda Smart 6969' ended up in court after Flint (EA) Ltd fell out with its partner, Interactive Gaming & Lotteries, on how to share the Sh139.1 million collected in two months before the government banned the raffle.

Documents filed in court showed that more than 2.1 million text messages charged Sh69 per SMS were sent to ‘Shinda Smart 6969' — highlighting the lucrative nature of Kenya's lotto industry.

Interactive Gaming & Lotteries was entitled to Sh38.33 per SMS, Flint (EA) earned Sh2 per message as short code processor, while the remainder was shared between Safaricom and government taxes, the court ruled.

Businessmen Javed Iqbal Abdul Rahman, Adil Ali Bashir and Ahmed Talib Abubakar are the owners of Interactive Gaming & Lotteries.

SportPesa also acts as an agent for another lotto dubbed Pambazuka, which was unveiled last month.

Pambazuka national lottery is owned by Bradley Ltd, which was also entangled in the ‘Shinda Smart 6969' court case.


Ben Collins
32 Posted 23/03/2017 at 08:01:24
I cannot believe I am reading "warzone", in regards to Tanzania! It is a developing country and a quick Google of the National stadium or even Dar es Salaam itself will show you a different vision to the one some of you have in your heads.

I have lived in Dar es Salaam for a few years and returned back to UK a few years ago, and what I will say is that I never met another Everton fan or saw a shirt whilst there. Unfortunately football for them never existed before the advent of the Premiere League there and so any footy fan has already been carved up between Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. I lost count of the amount of times I tried to explain to numerous people of Everton's hearalded history, but just get blank stares and scoffed of their lack of Premier League titles.

What I will also say is that the mighty Brazil (2010) went to play their national team in the national stadium, and in their infinite greed, the Tanzanian FA outpriced the locals (which doesn't take much doing) and so the stadium was fractionally full — a full Brazilian team showed up and Tanzania is pretty footy mad. This was disgusting to see and ruined what was supposed to be a great atmosphere.

Everton could take advantage and make gains here if they have a say over pricing structure but I feel would be banging heads against brick wall for any tangible amount of converts. You have to win the Premier League to gain any foothold over there. So yes, gloryhunters!

I will also say that Tanzania is amazing, full of well stocked national parks, Zanzibar is just off the coast of Dar es Salaam and also obviously the Serengetti and Mount Kilimanjaro up north. If you were to go you would love it and the game would be played in an excellent stadium.

Of course there are dangerous parts, same as EVERY COUNTRY, EVERY CITY, in the world. As another poster said, the Home Office does go overboard and deems everywhere on high alert (which very sadly we all are these days).
James Byrne
33 Posted 23/03/2017 at 12:47:03
Bit of an odd place to play pre-season but let's not knock the wonderful country and people of Tanzania. This is a fascinating place to visit but caution is needed no matter where you travel.

Your biggest worry is catching malaria so start taking anti-malaria meds well in advance before you travel. Usually a month.

Make sure you have yellow fever vaccinations and proof of the same or you might be refused entry into the country. Visit the Liverpool Tropical Travel place in case you need specific vaccinations. Take lots of money as vaccinations cost a fucking fortune!

Tahir Abdullah
34 Posted 23/03/2017 at 12:57:26
Some poor comments on here... confirms the view of most Africans I've met as regards EFC and its fanbase.
Brian Williams
35 Posted 23/03/2017 at 13:09:34
Which comments are those, Tahir?

Nobody's been disrespectful of the country or its inhabitants have they?

Some have been very positive in fact.

The country does undeniably have its problems, as do all, but where's the problem in voicing those concerns?

So what's the view of most Africans you've met regarding Everton and it's fanbase, then?

Tony Marsh
37 Posted 23/03/2017 at 13:43:19
I thought we had leaped in to the future and joined the Premier League elite club when Moshiri arrived here. This mob who we are getting in to bed with is a backwards step.

We should be over in the USA in the summer – not Africa. Is Keith Wyness back at Everton? Because this stinks.

Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 23/03/2017 at 14:10:23
Many thanks, Ben (#33) for your expert's insight.

Brian (#36), I'd say that Fearon's "war zone" comment and your own at #9 were blatantly disrespectful, particularly since they're demonstrably untrue.

The Global Peace Index ranks Tanzania as the 106th most dangerous country in the world. That ranking is considerably better than those of China, Argentina, World Cup host Brazil... or the United States of America.

Would everybody here have been concerned for the team's safety if they had announced a friendly in Greece or Cyprus or the UAE? Or the Maracana? Or the Rose Bowl? No way, it wouldn't even have come up. Yet all those places are more dangerous than Tanzania.

But Tanzania is in Africa.

Brian Williams
39 Posted 23/03/2017 at 15:03:56
That's bollocks, Mike. Parts of Tanzania are/can be very dangerous. So that's not demonstrably untrue at all.

I "made light" of it by comparing it to County Road on a Friday night, so who would be offended at that? People who live on County Road or Tanzanians? Do you even know where County Road is, or its connection to Everton?

Problem on here, and generally these days, is that there's too many over sensitive people like you who consider anything that can be construed as anything less than 100% PC as a disgraceful slur when most of the time it's just not.

Too may people ready to jump on the "look at me I'm so PC" bandwagon and also answer peoples questions for them like they know the lot.

I asked Tahir, you answered that on his behalf. You also decided "it" wouldn't have come up had the friendly been announced in the other places you mention. Who says it wouldn't? You!

What I, and Peter Fearon were expressing is our opinion (in my case, also the opinion of the UK foreign office) and I believe that freedom of speech allows us to do that.

Your "Wow, nice timing folks" comment shows your thinking. Did it not enter your head that most, if not all, of those comments were made before the people that made them knew about what happened in London?

There's always someone ready to jump in with the "political" angle when it suits them.

This is a football fansite, it's about Everton and Everton related stuff. Most ToffeeWebbers don't see it as a political sounding board and I hate the way some people try to make it that.

I would rather Everton didn't play a friendly in Tanzania. I would rather Everton played a friendly somewhere in Europe. There's less travelling, less difference in climate (depending where in Europe the game was to be played), there's more chance of Evertonians getting to see it, and it would probably be against a higher profile team.

Tanzania does NOT generally have the economic prosperity of the majority of its population for a friendly game played there to make any significant difference to our club financially.

You are right though about one thing Mike, Tanzania IS in Africa.

Mike Gaynes
40 Posted 23/03/2017 at 17:09:37
Ah, please, Brian, all those paragraphs and all that deflection and misdirection. Nobody brought up politics or PC except you... just making up unrelated bollocks as you go along. And the "sensitive" one is you... somebody expresses the opinion you're wrong, and somehow it's an infringement on your freedom of speech? Give me a break.

Fact is you don't know one bit more about what parts of Tanzania are dangerous than I know about County Road. You've never been, I've never been. The difference is you keep going on about what you don't know.

Now, finances and travel and climate and competition and malaria are all valid points. Thing is, though, neither you nor Fearon nor Steve Woods talked about those issues. You just knee-jerked right to the danger of terrorism. Tell us again that you'd have brought up the same concern if the game had been in Shanghai or New York or Paris. Try to get even one reader here to buy that malarkey.

Finally, thanks for the primer on ToffeeWeb, but I've been here a lot longer than you have, and I know exactly what it is. Furthermore, these threads often morph into discussions of not only politics but food, music, books, showbiz, medicine, history, travel, gambling and marital (and non-marital) relations. If you don't like that, my heartfelt condolences. But hey, that's freedom of speech for ya.

Ian Linn
41 Posted 24/03/2017 at 04:41:07
I have to say I'm staggered by this decision - if it turns out to be true.

Having lived in the USA for the last 17 years, it has always amazed me that so few Premier League teams have tried to exploit the USA market.

If I were in charge of EFC, I would come to the USA every year – not just playing in the 'International Associates World Leading Cup" or whatever they call these mickey mouse tournaments – but playing 4 top MLS clubs.

But hey, I'm no marketing guy, what do I know

Ian Linn
42 Posted 24/03/2017 at 04:44:02
More importantly, America is undergoing a revolution in micro brews plus weed is legal in multiple states.
Philip Arnold
44 Posted 24/03/2017 at 06:54:25
I visit Dar es Salaam on business. It is an interesting city with friendly people. Dar is a big city comparable to London, not Liverpool. There is lots to do and see with good night life. The population is mainly African but there are lots of Asians and being a regional centre there is a considerable number of ex-pats.

Dar is safe. I live in Johannesburg and like most big cities there are dangerous areas as there are in Dar. Use your brain and you are safe.

Ron Sear
45 Posted 24/03/2017 at 08:12:15
Ian, there may well be a problem in any British team going to America now that Trump is acting out his demented fantasies. Some of the team's members may not get through immigration.
Drew O'Neall
46 Posted 24/03/2017 at 11:25:22
Whoring ourselves to the highest bidder in spite of the ethical or safety implications – welcome to the big time.
Jim Potter
47 Posted 24/03/2017 at 12:08:35
Having lived in Dar for 3 years (until recently) and worked in a security-related field I cannot see any reason for concern from playing in Tanzania – excepting if Al Shabaab decide to target the tour.

Tanzania is a target for this terrorist group mainly because it is part of the African Union and its military trains Somalian troops to combat the threat in their home country.

Kenya was hit at the Westgate Mall (amongst other attacks) because it actively deploys troops in Somalia and to defend its border. So, Tanzania is a target (and has been so in bomb attacks) but thus far it has thankfully not suffered like its northern neighbour.

As stated previously – anywhere is a target nowadays.

I am sure Everton will do their homework and make a reasoned decision.

Ben (#33) – you need to get out more, mate – David Chait on this site lives / lived there and I met about 6 other Blues (two of whom were Scots). Only ever saw one local in an Everton shirt – he went passed me on a bike and I nearly crashed my vehicle.

Matthew Williams
48 Posted 24/03/2017 at 13:11:34
It's not the place itself, Blues... but the quality of the opposition we will face.
Ben Collins
49 Posted 24/03/2017 at 14:34:17
Jim (#47). I was just going to also say that having spoken to my friend, a Tanzanian national who still lives there, he says he has seen a few more blue shirts recently. I left about 6 years ago and certainly cannot remember seeing any.

I think that Everton exploring untapped markets can only be a good thing. Maybe Lukaku is worth a lot more to the club in breaking these areas than has been considered.

Perhaps we are also looking to use our award winning and ground breaking club in the community skills and set up schools etc in sub-Saharan Africa. This would also certainly put our club on the map there. I know Everton being pictured in Tanzania doing good work would certainly fly around the globe and enhance our good name.

I presume this trip would be early pre season and would be for fitness and team bonding and the actual quality of opponent would take more of a back seat. This would all add up to a massive win-win situation to me.

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