Sport

Football: Defenders FC look to retain Vantage FA Cup

31 March 2019 - 43   - 0

Defenders FC will start as favourites to win the title once again as the Vantage FA Cup Football Tournament began with the first-round matches worked off island-wide from Saturday (30). 

The tournament is conducted by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) and sponsored by Vantage, a leading fashion brand of Ebony Holdings (Pvt) Limited. 

In fact, Defenders FC are hoping to retain the title for the fourth successive year after having completed a unique hat-trick of titles last year. 

Defenders FC’s biggest challenge could come from Saunders SC who were the runners-up in last year’s tournament. 

The FA Cup champions will receive a cash award of Rs. 750,000 and the runners-up will receive a cash award of Rs. 500,000. 

A record number of 827 clubs representing 63 Football Leagues across the island will compete in this year’s tournament. 

The Championship will consist of three stages, namely Preliminary Stage, District Stage and the National Stage. 

The Preliminary Stage will be conducted at league level on a knock-out basis and 64 winners from this round will progress to the District Level. 

Meanwhile, the FFSL will continue to maintain the open draw mechanism at every stage after the round of 32, which was an exciting addition to last’s year’s competition. 

Started in 1948, the FA Cup Championship is the longest standing, popular knock-out basis tournament conducted by the FFSL annually. 

''Recognized as a valued brand amongst the public, we believe we have a responsibility towards uplifting sports in the country. The FA Cup in Sri Lanka is a historical tournament that covers the entire spectrum of the Sri Lankan football community. It is a tremendous privilege for Vantage to be the driving force supporting this tournament along with the Football Federation of Sri Lanka,'' said Rasmy Raheem, Chairman of Ebony Holdings. 

“We successfully concluded the last FA Cup Championship with the proud sponsorship of Ebony Holdings and we are privileged to have them continue for the second time. We would like to extend our gratitude to Ebony Holdings for adding their weight to the betterment of Sri Lankan Football as a growing brand of the country,” said President of FFSL Anura de Silva. 

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