Sources in charge of the Sierra Leone football league have told that government is putting all in place to ensure that football returns to Free Town and all other parts of the country.

The Minister of Sports, on behalf of the government of Sierra Leone, has on Tuesday 22nd January 2019, presented a cheque of two billion Leones to the Sierra Leone Premier League Board (PLB) ahead of the kick start of the Sierra Leone Premier League in less than five days from now.

In a colourful ceremony at the Atlantic hall, Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown, the chairman for the ceremony who also doubles as the Director Of Sports in the national Sports Council, Dr. Kenneth Brima, expressed delight in seeing cross section of the football family gathered with one aim which is to see the game play.

He said, the two billion Leones, committed by government for the running of the 2018-2019 Premier league season is unprecedented in the history of sports in the country with football as an example.

He also highlighted another essence of the event, which he further explained as the official launching of the country’s biggest football showpiece by the acting president of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Brima Mazola Kamara.

“The dreams of Sierra Leoneans both young and old are sure to come through, and our thanks and appreciation goes to the government for making this dream a reality” he intimates.

Speaking on behalf of the legislative arm of government, the chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee for Sports, Hon. Alusine-Alu Conteh, said the parliamentarians are not happy with the present suspension of the country by the world’s football governing body, FIFA but commends his Excellency the president Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada and his government for providing such huge amount of money in making the game play.

Mighty Blackpool officials preparing the grounds to let the game play

He furthered that, it’s the responsibility of Sierra Leoneans to make the game play.

“We need to start somewhere to go somewhere, and as Sierra Leoneans, it’s now time we let the world know that we can do it” Hon. Alusine-Alu stressed.

In his statement, the Honourable minister of sports, Ibrahim Nyellenkeh, started thanking all those present in being part of history making. He said Tuesday’s event will go a long way in the history books of Sierra Leone Football, a moment every Sierra Leonean must embrace.

He said his first task then as Minister of Sports was to help in bringing sanity in the football fraternity, but was disturbed by the ego minded people who think themselves instead of the country.

He said football is a unifying game which should be played without fear or favour.
“Football is the only discipline that has no room for tribal sentiment, regional or political affiliation”, Minister said. He discouraged all from any intention that may jeopardize the progress of the game.

“My level of belief and trust for the chairman of the Premier League Board is high which gives me the conviction that this money will be judiciously utilised by the Premier League Board” he further intimates.

Brima Mazola Kamara, acting president of the Sierra Leone Football Association in his short and brief statement said, the SLFA as the body responsible for the running of football in the country, expressed their profound gratitude to the president and his government for this unprecedented gesture to Sierra Leone.

He said, the SLFA will help in supervising this first Premier League after four years runs successful.

Overwhelmed, the chairman of the Premier League Board (PLB) Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, thanked the minister of sports and the government of Sierra Leone for providing job opportunities for over four hundred and fifty seven (457) boys across the 13 Premier League clubs.

The Premier League this time he said, will go through transformation, a reform will see the 2010 Hotel Bamoi declaration implemented.

“Only clubs that have gone through the required process will be embossed with this money, but if they they fail to adhere, onto the end of the league, then, the board will be left with no option but to return the money money back to government”, he confirmed.

Each Premier League club will be given Fifty million Leones for preparation but will only be entitled to it when they may have completed the required standards set by the PLB.

“There is no free lunch this time for anyone in this year’s League, all dine will be accounted for”, the legal luminary stressed.

He further disclosed that, the PLB have discussed with the referees committee and have promised a lucrative allowance package for them so as to officiate matches judiciously.

He comments Rokel Commercial Bank for their support of fifteen million Leones (Le, 15,000,000) to the Premier League Board and further called on other cooperate houses in the drive to promote the beautiful game.

The Sierra Leone Premier League after over a four- year absence, will officially start on Sunday, 27th January between old rivals East End Lions versus Mighty Blackpool at the Siaka Stevens Stadium.

This are obviously big steps from sports and football officials in a country that mean business.

On Wednesday, Mighty Blackpool unveiled their New Players and equipments ahead of the new season.

Angu Lesley

@angulesley on Twitter