Conteh and Ahead of the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Sports ‘bye-bye Ebola inter-community football tournament shield’, twenty eight communities in the Western Area Urban and Rural are in high preparation to compete at the Siaka Stevens Stadium practicing field.
According to the Deputy Minister of Sports, Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh, this will be the first football tournament the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council is organize this year for community football teams after President Ernest Bai Koroma and the World Health Organization declared Sierra Leone free from Ebola.
Al-Sankoh Conteh said the motive of such a competition is to spot young talents in the communities and give them opportunity to showcase their talents so that bigger teams can spot them.
“This particular football tournament is to complement the efforts of the government and show solidarity and sympathy to all those who lost their lives in the Ebola fight,” the Deputy Sports Minister said.
He added that this tournament is purely for committed and dedicated communities; the reason why the Ministry of Sports and the NSC are taking up the responsibility to develop football in the county and one way of doing this to take the game to the various communities.
He disclosed that the tournament will start on 21st November, 2015 and that the Second Gentleman of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Vice President Ambassador Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh will take the kick-off at the opening ceremony.
He said as organizers they are set to give football loving fans the best of community football this year as they are expecting to see raw and young talented players in the pitch.
He pointed out that the role of the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council in the competition is to provide funds and medals and see the competition end successfully.
According to the Director of Sports, Ibrahim Bangura, at the end of the competition, the champions will receive ten million Leones and 30 gold medals with certificates; while the runners-up will take home five million Leones and 30 silver medals with certificates and the third place team will take home a cash prize.
He said there will be individual prizes including the sum of one hundred thousand Leones to the Best Player, Best Defender and Best Goal Keeper.
“Our aim as the Sports Ministry and the National Sports Council is to promote and develop grassroots football across Sierra Leone and this first edition will be full of entertainment and skillful play,” Ibrahim Bangura said.
He appealed to the twenty eight community representatives and supporters to avoid any form of violence during and after matches, adding that violence will not help the game to grow.
He encouraged premier league team managers and coaches to make their way every day to the Siaka Stevens Stadium to look out for untapped talent.