World swimming body frowns on Sri Lanka politics | Sunday Observer

World swimming body frowns on Sri Lanka politics

13 January, 2019

The International Swimming and Water Sports Federation (FINA) has declared that it will not allow Sri Lanka to field an illegitimate team at the South Asian Games scheduled to be held this month in Bangalore, India.

It has been alleged that Mahinda Liyanage, a former president of the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) has also been misleading FINA.

Liyanage and his Committee was removed from SLASU and an Interim Committee set up in its place by former Sports Minister Faiszer Mushtapha due to financial irregularities.

The Interim Committee then selected swimmers in the junior and senior categories and included them into a national squad targeting the South Asian Swimming and Aquatic Championship to be held this month.

There are 111 members in this squad and Rs. 45,000 will be collected from each member by the Interim Committee for air tickets.

But FINA does not recognize the Interim Committee and what they do is being considered as illegitimate.

“The medal hopes of our children have been destroyed by greedy officials”, said one parent.

But Liyanage told the Sunday Observer he was not the one responsible for the current state of affairs.

“An Interim Committee member asked me how they could access FINA and SLASU and I told FINA about this and they decided that the Interim Committee was a political appointed body and asked me to not provide anything to them (Interim Committee).

“The Interim Committee then asked me to meet them on Monday and I will give my support to them out of concern for the swimmers”, said Liyanage.