This initiative, being the first of its kind would be supported by the World’s Footballing governing body, FIFA+ project.
The unveiling of the agreement between Gambia Football Federation, Eleven Sports and FIFA was held at the Football House in Kanifing yesterday, 12 May 2022.
Eleven Sports is a multinational sports and entertainment media group. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, it is owned by Andrea Radrizzani's sports and media investment platform Aser Ventures.
This development came after World’s football governing body last month launched the FIFA+, which is geared towards creating the digital to connect football fans across the globe more deeply with the game they love for free.
“Having an official broadcast partner that can in turn generate revenue for the league and clubs until today had remained our utmost priority. That is now a thing of the past as announced the signing of a broadcast deal with FIFA beginning the current season until the end of the 2026 season to broadcast the two aforesaid leagues through its new initiatives FIFA+,” said GFF president, Lamin Kaba Bajo.
According to him, the broadcast partner for this project is called Eleven Sports and they in turn contracted Eye Africa TV to provide the feeds for them to serve as their local partner for the start of this project.
“As part of the project, they will now be broadcasting all the matches in our men and women first division leagues from the next season. The broadcast will still begin with some selected matches of this campaign, and will be offered through Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service otherwise known as live streaming.”
As the agreement happens in the middle of the season, President Bajo noted that those clubs and online platforms that are currently streaming the league will be allowed to broadcast them until the end of the current season.
However, Mr. Bajo said that, from next season, no third party would be allowed to transmit any form of coverage either in part or whole via IPTV, internet or mobile transmission until the end of the licence period, adding that they will formally write to all the clubs to that effect.
For his part, Baboucarr Camara, communications director at GFF, who doubles as the project manager, said that the project is groundbreaking as they witnessed the remarkable strides in football development in The Gambia, especially in the past seven years, culminating with the country’s first-ever appearance at the African Cup of Nations.
“Sports is a multi-million dollar industry which the actors of sports are meant to benefit from in many ways and key among them is broadcasting which is where the revenue is.”
According to him, to have an official partner to broadcast the country’s domestic 1st Division male and female leagues at no expense to the clubs is a welcoming development, noting that it’s going to contribute immensely towards the development of those clubs.