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Pathetic performance by Sri Lanka soccer teams

Subhani Hassimdeen - Former National Football Captain and National Coach

The two unsuccessful tours by the Sri Lanka's men's National team to Bhutan and the Women's National team to Myanmar clearly shows where we stand in the world football rankings. Sri Lanka men lost 3-1 to Bhutan (1-0 in Colombo and 2-1 in Bhutan) the World's worst football nation in the home and away World Cup qualifier, the women's team faced a defeat by the host Nation Myanmar 16-0 and lost to India 4-0.

From the above results it is crystal clear either at the senior level or at grass-root level our national team's performance are below expectations, even at the regional level.

Innocent, immature and ill-trained youth players have been used as scapegoats by the tour crazy officials who don't care a damn about our country and the future, of young football players officials must realise, exposing our youths particularly young innocent girls on foreign soil without adequate training and nourishment not only brings disgrace to their beloved parents but to our great nation as well.

Football, no doubt has hit the rock bottom, there is no more to fall with personal interests and corruption have taken precedence over development of the game.

Soccer is one sport that suffered during the last two decades immeasurable in the hands of officials who are tour mania, blissfully ignorant of the technical aspects of the sport.

Its popularity and the enthusiasm to watch the game declined drastically. It is evident from what we observed at the 1st leg match played in the Sugathadasa Stadium where there was only about 3000 spectators to cheer and encourage our team that too with more school boys who were present to witness a match between two leading schools before the international encounter.

It is important to find out why this sport declined. The Sugathadasa Stadium once packed with a capacity crowd of over 30000 to 40000 thousand has declined now I must be frank to state that in today's administrate sphere of the football federation, I do not see persons with sound knowledge of the game at the helm of affairs, hence they cannot control the sport and its affairs efficiently.

It is common sense to know that the spectators pay with reservations to witness quality football not pedestrian standards. Football unfortunately in our land is far from quality or worse now in terms of skills, technique and tactics. Our school soccer is totally weak.

We are not producing adequate quality players at the club level. This area could be efficiently handled by knowledgeable and experience coaches.

The coaches who train small kids and youths for the love of the game or for a small remuneration are not the right ones.

When a player is not properly handled when they are young not being taught the ABC of football at the inception, not taught their base skills, things become difficult at the National level even for a top class foreign coach which we have experienced into the recent times.

To be honest our football has hit a new low and unless there is a change in the whole administration the game is sure to deteriorate further.

Well participation in foreign tournaments and reciprocal football tours with other countries help immensely to promote and enhance the sport and the sporting image of the country, but indiscreet participation and officials who make use and abuse of these trips for their personnel advantage and fame cause more harm and damage both to the sport and to the image of the country.

The soccer loving crowd are aware of what has happened in the past and the pathetic result produced in international competitions.

The Ministry of Sports has a right to impose certain conditions and pre-requisites for soccer tours abroad. It is high time to adopt more stringent measures and precautions to safeguard football and Sri Lanka's image by ensuring that there will be no abuse of soccer tours by both teams and officials.

In approving future football tours, the Sports Ministry must rigidly impose pre-conditions before such approval is granted.

The following aspects should be thoroughly clarified (1) the purpose of participation (2) whether we have trained and reach required standards of the other participating teams (3) the composition of the teams and the basis of selection (4) available of funds for training and for the tours (5) In the nomination of teams/selection of teams the best available are selected and the officials restricted to the barest minimum.

From the bitter lessons learned of the past from football tours which has caused irreparable damage and disgrace, we humbly request the Sports Minister to have a more effective control on the matter.

Posted on 2015-03-27 12:48:53
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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