By Hassan G. Koroma
One of Sierra Leone’s leading GSM operators, Africell Mobile Company, yesterday announced that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) that makes it possible to broadcast live FIFA 2014 World Cup matches in the country.
Speaking at a press conference hosted at the company’s headquarters on 1 Pivot Lane, Wilberforce, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Joe Abass Bangura, informed newsmen that they have already paid the sum of US$20,000 to the Africa Union of Broadcasters to secure the rights to have all sixty-four (64) matches in the tournament broadcast live into the “living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and offices of everyone with a TV set in the country on free to air channel”.
“Africell has taken corporate social responsibility in Sierra Leone to a whole new level by breaking all records in our wake. Our intervention in sports is legendary, cutting across all sporting disciplines in the country,” he said. “We cannot let the effect of the Samba drums not being felt in our territory.”
Mr. Bangura noted that Brazil 2014 promises to be spectacular as 736 players from 32 teams from FIFA member associations and at least 5 top football leagues converge for the biggest world football showpiece.
On his part, Director General of SLBC, Elvis Gbanabom Hallowell, expressed his delight to have partnered with Africell to broadcast all the matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“We will do all we can to make sure that all 64 matches are shown on TV and also broadcast on radio. Let me assure the general public that electricity will not be a barrier to screen the matches live because we have in place standby generators when NPA power supply is off,” he assured.