Six Sri Lankan junior footballers for Barcelona Academy | Sunday Observer

Six Sri Lankan junior footballers for Barcelona Academy

Vice President Nestle Lanka Norman Kannangara hands over a football to the Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi to mark the introduction of the under-12 schools football tournament named as the Road to Barcelona
Vice President Nestle Lanka Norman Kannangara hands over a football to the Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi to mark the introduction of the under-12 schools football tournament named as the Road to Barcelona

With the aim of promoting football in the country Nestle Lanka has joined hands with FC Barcelona to give young hopefuls a chance to undergo training at their Academy in October.

Nestle with the full blessings of the Ministry of Education and the Schools Football Association have made arrangements to conduct an all-island schools tournament for Under-12 girls and boys with the aim of selecting the best of the best to receive this opportunity to travel to Spain to attend the FC Barcelona Football Academy which is named as the Road to Barcelona.

According to the organizers already 250 girls and 800 boys teams have forwarded their entries to play in this tournament.

“Players who will be able to catch the eye of the selectors during the tournament will be drawn into a pool from which six of them will be picked to train at FC Barcelona”, said vice president (Beverages) of Nestle Norman Kannangara addressing a media briefing.

Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi addressing the media said that young players in the country would appreciate Nestle Lanka for their part in promoting schools sports.

“Their contribution towards sporting activities in schools has helped most of the present national players to reach this level.

At present all national players in various sports are children who participated in tournaments organized by Nestle Lanka under the brand name Milo”, he said. Speaking further he said football was patronized by the majority of people in Sri Lanka but when standards dropped sports followers took to cricket and rugby.

“If we are to bring back football followers the standard of the game must improve. To achieve this it is important to train youngsters from the grass root level with proper coaching and conducting tournaments”, Hettiarachchie said.

Over 200 countries play football and it flourished in Sri Lanka at one time. Unfortunately at present it has reached a very low level with many other sports advancing further thanks to school tournaments.

With the new tournament football is expected to receive a boost according to Hettiarachchi. The Tournament is set to kick off on July 5 at the prison ground with the North Central Province games.

The other schedule is as follows: Northern Province at Duraiappa Stadium, Jaffna, July 15-16, Eastern Province at Municipal ground Trincomalee, July 29-30, Uva Province at Vincent

Dias Stadium, July 17-18, Wyamba Province at Pepople’s Park, Kurunegala, July 19-20, Central Province at Bogambara Stadium, July 11-12, Western Province at City League ground July7-8, Sabaragamuwa Province at Seevalee ground July 21-22 and Southern Province at Uyanwatte Stadium July 9-10.

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