Everton has announced it will end its sponsorship deal by Kenyan gambling firm SportPesa at the end of the current season, two years early.

Outside Everton Football ground

The deal was expected to stand for five years, initially agreed in 2017, but increasing calls against the “gamblification” of football is believed to be the reason behind the early cancellation, the Guardian reported.

The early termination of the deal, which was worth £7m a season, follows a strategic review of the club’s commercial operations chief executive, Denise Barrett-Baxendale.

Barrett-Baxendale said that in an “ideal world” they would prefer a “different type of sponsor” than a gaming company.

An Everton spokesperson said to the British newspaper: “This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us.

“The club would like to thank SportPesa for all of the work that has been done together, it said.

“Our partnership has seen our first team visit Africa on two occasions, as well as former players and club staff, take part in numerous activations in the region. This has allowed us to grow our own footprint in Africa and further strengthen our special relationship with the continent.”