President Julius Maada Bio witnesses commencement of Sierra Leone Premier League in Freetown

National Stadium, Freetown, Sunday 26 January 2019 – His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has taken the kick-off at the national stadium to officially mark the recommencement of the Sierra Leone Premier League, after nearly a five-year hiatus.

The Director of Sport in the Ministry of Sport, Dr Kenneth Brima, thanked the President and his government for allowing local football to play again after over four years, adding that the government would go down in history as the first ever to have allocated Le2 billion to developing local sport.

“The people of Sierra Leone are happy that the Premier League that has not played for four years now, is playing. They are also happy because this is the first time that a government is putting billions into local league. This is a huge success that we should commend the government for,” Dr Brima said.

Chairman of the Premier League Board, Lawyer Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, thanked the government for providing the support to start the league and called on the President to continue to support football at all levels. He urged and wished that government could increase their support so that other leagues, including female and amputee football, could start again.

Addressing over 35,000 football-loving Sierra Leoneans who had converged on the national stadium to witness the match between Mighty Blackpool and East End Lions, the President expressed his happiness that Sierra Leone was jubilant after four years since the last premier league was organised.

He stated that football would keep the youths busy and would also calm the political tension in the country, but admonished everyone to be law-abiding because there was no place for lawlessness and violence in sport.

“I want to especially urge all sport lovers to enjoy the game responsibly and within the laws of the land. If your team loses, please don’t fight but go home and get ready to win the other day. My government will not encourage any form of violence from anybody,” he warned.

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