Sierra Leone Premier League winners Bo Rangers sets to participate in the African Champions League for the first time

The 2021/2022 Sierra Leone Premier League champions, Bo Rangers will take part in next season’s African Champions League for the first time since the club was founded in 1954. 

Bo Rangers were crowned champions, on Sunday, May 29, 2022, at the Bo Mini Stadium, Southern Sierra Leone. They became the second team outside Freetown to win the Sierra Leone Premier League after Diamond Star, who won it in 2012 and 2013. 

The team’s participation in the African Champions League next season, will mark the first team a club from Sierra Leone will feature in the continent’s competition since 2017. 

According to the club’s chairman, Babadi Kamara, the team’s participation in the competition will be for pride rather than financial gain. 

“It is about pride for us to take part in the Champions League for now. Financial gain only comes after hard work,” Kamara told BBC Sport Africa.

The African Champions League is an annual football competition, that is organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). 16 clubs from across the continent, will reach the group stage and they are guaranteed to receive money from a total prize fund of USD 12.5 million from CAF. 

In the group stage, teams are given USD 550,000 each, but however, clubs usually receive their monies at the end of the competition, after they have financed the campaign on their own. 

Kamara is confident of financing the continental campaign. 

“We are aware that playing the Champions League has huge financial implications. Bo Rangers is a regional club and the only club in the southern region that plays the Sierra Leone Premier League. This puts the club in a position of great opportunity as stakeholders within the region will be proud to see their club playing at the highest level of club football in Africa,” said Kamara.

However, teams in Sierra Leone usually foot the costs of traveling during continental or sub-regional club competitions with little or no support from the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) or the government.

Kamara took over the club as executive chairman in 2019, and within three years he has been able to improve the club’s financial status. He has constructed a clubhouse for the team, the first of its kind in the country.