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The leading GSM communications operator in Sierra Leone, Africell has presented a cheque of Le 40,000,000 (forty million Leones) to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) on Friday September 30, 2011. The donation, which took place at the company’s conference room at Wilberforce, was meant to support the Leone Stars trip to South Africa for the crucial African Nations Cup elimination match against Bafana Bafana.
Africell’s Corporate Affairs Officer, Mr. Joe Abass Bangura stated that the company’s contribution to sports especially football in the country since 2006 has been legendary. He added that Africell has regularly being there to provide the much needed life-line and shoulder to cry on, in accordance with its Corporate Social Responsibility. Joe Abass Bangura reiterated that the company is gratified that the results from its contributions coupled with that of others are now yielding immense dividend. He noted that at least fourteen (14) players who participated in the Africell Premier League in 2009/10 and 2011 are now playing professional football in clubs in the UK, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Moldova and USA.
According to Joe Abass Bangura, some of these players now form the’ nucleus of the National Team the Leone Stars who are currently ranked sixty-five (65) in the FIFA world ranking and added that it is the 2nd highest ranking ever achieved by the country. He said Sierra Leone is ranked 16 by CAF.
He said that this milestone makes it easier for Sierra Leone players who played at least 5 games with the national team to get work permits to play in the English Premier League. He noted: “Africell is truly proud that the quality of football in the country is on the rise again and happy to be part of the football revolution. It is in this vein that Africell is here today to present a cheque to SLFA for the sum of Le 40,000,000 in support of Leone Stars as they fly out to South Africa for an epic encounter.”
He reiterated the company’s commitment to the development of not only sports, but every sector of the Sierra Leone society. The SLFA Acting Secretary General,Mr. Abdul Rahman Swarray acclaimed Africell for its innovative support for the development of football and other sporting disciplines in the country. He added: “Africell is the leading mobile phone company in the country that greatly contributes in the development of sports.”
Africell’s Administrative Director, Abdul Azizi Gabisi, Parliamentary Sport Committee Clerk and SLFA Executive Secretary were in attendance while the presentation of the cheque to SLFA Secretary General climaxed the ceremony. The ceremony was chaired by Tommy Terry Coker.