Sport

Football: FFSL in the red looks for relief from Sports Ministry

19 March 2017 - 52   - 0

It has come to light that the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) is embroiled in cash crisis due to lack of funds. 

For the year 2017 the estimated amount for international tournaments, local tournaments and the planning of football development is estimated at Rs. 300 million. 

They are in line for FIFA and AFC funds which is estimated at Rs. 172 million. 

If they are to go ahead with their plan they are in need of another Rs. 128 million. 

To obtain this amount they are hoping that the Sports Ministry will help them out. 

The FFSL has raised Rs. 42 million from two local sponsors. 

They raised Rs. 30 million from Cargills Food City. 

They raised 12 million from Dialog. 

The money raised from Cargills saw them spending Rs. 9 million to the FA Cup Tournament. 

Another Rs. 2 million was spent for the under 19 schools tournament. 

The remaining Rs. 19 Million had been spent to develop the national football pool and other expenses. 

The most disturbing news is that Cargills Food City has avoided the to honour the Rs. 30 Million sponsorship which is due from March this year. 

The main target for 2017 is the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championships to be held in December this year in Bangladesh. 

To maintain the national pool for this contest which includes food and accommodation, the estimated cost is Rs. 80 Million. 

There is another nine months for the competition but to date the SAFF pool has not been established. 

There was a 26 member pool in existence until November 10, 2016 but it was dissolved after the AFC Solidarity Football Tournament. 

Now the pool has been disbanded. 

The President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, Anura de Silva said that because of the Dialog Champions League and the now prevailing FA Cup Tournament, players of the National Pool has been released due to requests from clubs. 

Because of this forming the National Pool was delayed. 

Another reason being that a huge amount has to be spent -around Rs. One Million to maintain the pool. 

This is one of the reasons in delaying the formation of the National Pool. 

On March 22, a decision will be taken over the National Pool after detailed discussions. 

He said that this has been informed to the Sports Ministry and that the FFSL has sought their help as well. 

When inquired from the National Coach Dudley Steinwall regarding the formation of the National Pool, he said that due to the Dialog Champions League and the FA Cup was delayed as a result it was unable to resume training of the National Pool. 

He said that he hopes that at least from May 1, the pool will be able to resume training. 

He said that he had planned a SAFF training schedule from January. 

"I had planned to give six international match experiences to the National Pool. I was hoping to conduct four International Coaching Camps and several training matches. I have been unable to carry them out due to the prevailing conditions. If they were professional players then a month’s training schedule would be sufficient. Because we have no professional players, we have to begin training early." 

The 12th edition of the SAFF Championships is scheduled to be held in Bangladesh in December this year. 

Sri Lanka have won the competition only once, in 1995 in the competition held in Colombo.

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