English Premier League side Everton Football Club will travel to Nairobi, Kenya to take on Kariobangi Sharks FC in the first 2019 pre-season friendly announced on the Club webiste.
The game will take place on Sunday 7th July 2019 at the Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi.
Kariobangi Sharks FC are winners of the 2019 edition of the SportPesa Cup, east Africa’s biggest football tournament, which took place in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, in January. Their 1-0 win over Bandari FC gave them regional supremacy and the opportunity to play the Blues.
The game against the Kariobangi Sharks FC marks Everton’s second visit to East Africa.
The team travelled to Tanzania in July 2017 to face inaugural SportPesa Super Cup winners Gor Mahia FC in a game the Toffees won 2-1, the first time a Premier League club had visited east Africa.
In November 2018, Kenya’s Gor Mahia FC travelled to Goodison Park, the first occasion an east African club side has played a Premier League club in the UK.
While in Tanzania, the Blues, alongside SportPesa, won hearts and minds in the region when they took part in a range of cultural and charitable activities across Dar-es-Salaam.
Players met members of Albino United Football Club, locals in the Maasai village Ngorongoro Maasai Boma, and visited the Uhuru Mchanganyiko Primary School to learn about how UK aid is helping deaf and blind students receive the same level of education as their classmates.
Alan McTavish, Commercial Director at Everton Football Club, said: “We are extremely excited to be heading back to Africa to play against the Kariobangi Sharks FC. We were given an exceptionally warm welcome when we played in Tanzania in 2017 and are looking forward to visiting Kenya and what we know will be a fantastic experience in the Kasarani Stadium.
“Just like the last time we took the team to east Africa, we will be delivering extensive community and fan engagement activities with our friends from SportPesa and we will be learning more about the rich culture of the country and the opportunities that are available to us in this region.”
Captain Ronald Karauri, Chief Executive Officer of SportPesa, said: “Kariobangi Sharks FC is a team that has defied many odds to first make it to Kenya’s top league, the SportPesa Premier League, earning their stripes by winning the Shield Cup in Kenya, and to our delight, the SportPesa Cup tournament in Tanzania which was held in January. These boys have all it takes to host Everton for this historic match. It will be a record making match as well as a much-needed catalyst to boost careers in local football as well as sports development in the country.”