English Premier League side Everton will travel to Kenya in July for a friendly against local champions Kariobangi Sharks, officials said Thursday.
Everton will play Kariobangi, the 2019 title holders of East Africa’s biggest football tournament, the SportPesa Cup, in Nairobi on July 7.
Ronald Karauri, the chief executive of Everton-sponsor SportPesa, said Kariobangi would put up a fight after coming out victorious in a number of local competitions in recent months.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Everton became the first Premier League club to ever play in East Africa when they visited Tanzania in July 2017 to face Kenyan side Gor Mahia.
The visitors won 2-1 in that friendly sponsored by betting company SportPesa, which is the official sponsor of both Everton and Gor Mahia.
The Kenyan side travelled to Liverpool in November 2018 to face Everton again, where they lost 4-0 at Goodison Park.
Football, particularly the top European competitions, is hugely popular in Kenya and across the African continent.