Over 21-million rupees of cash bonanza will be on offer for the teams competing at the inaugural “FFSL President’s Cup” football tournament conducted by Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL), will get underway from the 9 to 31 August in two venues in Colombo. This was disclosed by Anura de Silva, President of FFSL at a press briefing held at their headquarters yesterday.
In an over 30-million rupees budgeted tournament, which will be competed by 20 teams under close doors due to the CoronaVirus pandemic, will be an ideal opportunity for the striving clubs, who haven’t’ had a proper competition for the last two years due to various reason including the Easter Sunday attacks followed by the present pandemic. These factors had a huge impact on conducting the stipulated tournaments as per the FFSL calendar. The governing body has multiple intentions of conducting this tournament firstly to resume the game which almost was halted since February this year, due to various reasons. This will also enable them to use this as a measuring tool to rectify the hidden talent, which is limited to the clubs, without getting an opportunity of exposing at competition level.
This tournament was initially scheduled to kick off from the 26th of this month and was delayed on the instruction of the Sports Ministry (SM) due to Covid 19 pandemic early this month. After obtaining the green light from SM they decided to launch the tournament, which was done yesterday with a draw of 20 teams divided into five groups. Each team will have three matches at the group stage before they get into the quarterfinals. All teams were selected based on their performance at the end of the Dialog Championship held last season. To make matters comfortable all participating teams will receive a lump sum of rupees 900,000 which includes a participation fee of rupees 300,000 and a match fee of rupees 200,000 (per match), which the FFSL exco has granted approval. The winners will carry away the FFSL President’s Cup with cash reward rupees 300,000. All these matches are scheduled to be played at the Race Course grounds and at Sugathadasa Stadium. The venues from the semifinals stage are yet to be decided. The tournament will be conducted under strict health compliance.
“This will bring back the momentum of competitive football after nearly two years. This also will provide to identify the potential of new talent for national duty,” Said Anura de Silva.
Teams and Groups:
Group A – Blue Star SC (Kalutara FL), Up Country Lions SC (Nawalapitiya FL), Java Lane SC (City FL), Moragasmulla SC (City FL)
Group C – Defenders FC (SL Army FL), Red Stars FC (Beruwela FL), Saunders SC (City FL), Super Sun SC (Beruwela FL).
Group D – Sea Hawks FC (SL Navy FL) , Ratnam SC (Colombo FL), SL Police SC (SL Police FL), Serendib SC (Mawanella FL)
Group E – Colombo FC (City FL), Blue Eagles SC (SL Air Force FL), Crystal Palace FC (Gampola FL), SLTB SC (NSSA)