Claims made football will be “developed and popularised” | Sunday Observer

Claims made football will be “developed and popularised”

Big claims are being made by both the new Sports Minister Harin Fernando and the Football Federation of Sri Lanka that football will be developed and popularised all over the country after the sport took root in the island more than 200 years ago.

Minister Harin Fernando like his predecessors of the past made the remarks when he met Anura de Silva and Jaswar Umar the two men who are running football today as president and secretary of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL).

“The new management has changed the way football should be managed. There are massive reforms made in the administration. A long term strategic plan was introduced under Vision 2030. This was launched with the first ever tour to Sri Lanka of the FIFA World Cup,” said Jaswar.

Football was one of the most corruption ridden sports in the country over the years as some past administrators held sway and many followers of football in the country have their reservations even today.

The FFSL has also increased the financial grants to Rs. 300,000 for regional Leagues annually.

Over 7000 balls were given to clubs, leagues and academies last year and will be continued this year according to the FFSL and nearly 55 academies that were started by players and coaches will be supported with equipment.

Former president of the FFSL Ranjith Rodrigo said that he was happy the way the FFSL is progressing.

“The good things we started for football during our times are still working fine and good,” Rodrigo claimed.

“The plan to have a national jersey was part of my plan. It was designed by a close friend of mine and done as a personal favour. We obtained the help of Qatar to get the jersey printed and stitched on a long term plan.

“Earlier the FFSL bought jerseys from sports shops depending on the commitments. Now we have a permanent jersey worth treasuring. I hope the present FFSL administration would continue with the good work initiated by us,” said Rodrigo.