Swedish football fanatic acquires Wazito FC

Wazito FC, which was recently relegated from the Kenya Premier League, has received a new lease of life with a Swedish investor buying out the club. Ricard Badoer, a millionaire businessman based in Dubai, is set to pump funds into the club, whose debut in the top-flight Kenya Premier League in the 2018 season floundered after it was relegated back to the National Super League (NSL) at the end of the season in September.

Wazito FC is now owned by Badoer Investments Ltd, the global investment conglomerate run by Ricardo, a flamboyant football fanatic who became its president in October.

He says his role in the club will be majorly to steer the team and build Africa’s most successful club. “We have already invested in good players and we are certain to win the NSL next year so we can vie for CAF Champions League,” Mr Ricardo said in an interview with Business Today.

His entry into Kenyan football comes as the investor spreads his business interests into the East Africa region. In Kenya, he has already acquired interests in Sumac Microfinance and Business Today website.

A foreign player on the Kenyan football pitch is being seen as a plus with possibilities of enhancing quality at club level and spreading out to other teams. “Kenyans love football,” he says. “The thing is that the Kenyan football league needs improvement and push. The quality is missing and I am sure Wazito will lead the way.”

Ricardo says he is “going to invest a lot of money” in Wazito FC to build a formidable team. And he has big plans for Kenyan football, which include establishing a youth football academy to offer European standards training for children from age of 6 as well as a UEFA category 4 stadium.

Ricardo loves football so much that he owns a fifth division team in Spain, C.D. Ursaria, which is expected to anchor African European co-operation which will involve exchange of staff, knowledge and players between the clubs.

He noted though that the current legal framework in Kenya is not attractive to investors. “Lack of good structure makes it hard for investors. For example, according to the Sports Act the teams cannot be limited companies and this makes things a bit complicated when it comes to attracting new investors,” he said.

Big things in the offing: The new  jersey being designed for Wazito FC. Photo / Business Today

He said he would start a push for the law to be changed so clubs can be run like commercial entities as it is done in leading leagues like the EPL and La Liga.

Ricardo, who is in Kenya to check on his businesses, sayshe had constructive talks with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, himself a football lover, and Deputy President William Ruto over the matter. “Mr Kuria is, as many Kenyans might know, crazy about football and passionate about youth. So he could help out to pushing for change in sports legislation,” says Ricardo.

READ ALSO: MEET THE SEVEN LAND EATERS OF KENYA

Wazito FC was formed in 2011 by, among others, Solomon Alubala, who dreamt of playing professional football and owning a football club. Alubala teamed up with University of Nairobi alumni to provide football mentorship to university students and graduates.

In 2012, the club joined the fifth tier of Kenyan football ladder, the Nairobi County League and won it. It got promoted to the fourth tier the following year which it won to enter the third tier, where it finished second in 2014. It played in the second tier for three years before being promoted to KPL in 2018.

Latest

How to Invest in Kakuzi Shares

Investing your money in Kakuzi shares can help you...

Safaricom Reveals Strategic Secrets at Ethiopia Investor Day

Safaricom PLC on Saturday 22nd Feb 2023 held its second investor day in Addis Ababa, providing an opportunity for the investment community to gain insights into the company's achievements and future plans as well as see the progress so far in Ethiopia rollout.

Safaricom Investment Co-operative Pays Out Sh142.4 Million

Safaricom Investment Co-operative shareholders have approved a ksh142.4 million rebate payout during the 15th Annual General Meeting.

Firms Announce Merger Deal to Expand Services

Dalberg Implement, a leader in on-the-ground program implementation with vast expertise in strategy execution, and Axum, an Afrocentric impact firm dedicated to fostering inclusive growth across the Global South, have announced a merger.

Follow Us

Newsletter

Don't miss

Throwing The Girls Into Deep End: Single Kiasi S3 First Look

Nairobi’s dating scene is about to get messy: Single Kiasi...

Win New Year Crossover Mugithi Tickets With Odibets

The event has attracted prominent Kikuyu musicians who will be headlining the event including Samidoh and Muigai wa Njoroge.

For Coloured Girls is Theatre Production of the Year

The play ‘For Coloured Girls (who have considered suicide/ when...

Tusker Oktobafest Rolls East African Cultures into One

From regional events across Kenya to inaugural gatherings in Uganda and Tanzania, and the Tusker Oktobafest grand finale in Nairobi, the festival harmonized traditions, celebrated diversity, and highlighted the rich cultural tapestry of the East African culture

Lupita’s Little Brother Junior Nyong’o Charting His Own Path in Acting

Junior Nyongó, who is also a musician and a DJ and now a graduate of UC San Diego with an MFA in Acting, is crafting his own solid path in the world of acting with roles in major theatre productions.

Safaricom To Power Tusker OktobaFest Beer Festival

Safaricom’s involvement in OktobaFest as a technology and payments partner will focus on fostering seamless in-festival connectivity, empowering the youth and Gen Z community through Safaricom Hook, and powering digital payments through M-PESA.

Music Producers Launch Organization To Streamline Recording Industry

Recording Industry of Kenya (RIKE) was launched on 9th October 2023. Registered in 2022 as a not-for-profit organization, RIKE aims to promote the collective interests of producers of sound recordings in the country.

Nairobi’s Hero Bar Listed Among World’s 50 Best Bars

World Best Bars: Hero Bar in Nairobi continues to climb the list, moving up six places to No.62 and Johannesburg’s Sin + Tax comes in at No.94. Dubai new entry Ergo is at No.69 and Melbourne’s Byrdi has re-entered the list at No.61.

Kenyan DJs Face Off In Smirnoff Battle Of The Beats Season 3

The Smirnoff Battle of the Beats Season 3, a DJ competition, is poised to unleash an unprecedented musical frenzy countrywide.

The Highs And Lows Of Betty Kyallo, Sisters Show As Season 2 Ends

Kyallo Kulture has always been, above all, about sisterhood, and in Season 2 we have witnessed the charm of it - the ups that gave us wholesome moments as the sisters led by Betty Kyallo spent time together.
LUKE MULUNDA
LUKE MULUNDAhttp://Businesstoday.co.ke
Managing Editor, BUSINESS TODAY. Email: [email protected]. ke

How to Invest in Kakuzi Shares

Investing your money in Kakuzi shares can help you turn money into more money, whether you are planning for retirement, looking to boost personal...

Safaricom Reveals Strategic Secrets at Ethiopia Investor Day

Safaricom PLC on Saturday 22nd Feb 2023 held its second investor day in Addis Ababa, providing an opportunity for the investment community to gain insights into the company's achievements and future plans as well as see the progress so far in Ethiopia rollout.

Safaricom Investment Co-operative Pays Out Sh142.4 Million

Safaricom Investment Co-operative shareholders have approved a ksh142.4 million rebate payout during the 15th Annual General Meeting.

8 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here