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Football elections hots up

By Karuppiah Ramakrishnan

CT Sports: Former national player and Secretary Gampola Football League and Former International Match Commissioner Sunil Senaweera raised the question over the Rs 120 million that had been held in fixed deposits by the FFSL.

"The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) had been holding Rs 120 million in fixed deposits, but since 2013 the Committee has always been saying there are no funds and it has raised questions where these funds have gone" said Senaweera.

This was revealed at a press briefing that was held on Monday at Sri Lanka Foundation.

He further said the FFSL Committee which was elected after 2013 always gave the picture that they were suffering without funds. What's going on with the FFSL administration?

The regime of former President Ranjith Rodrigo can be classified as the worst period for Sri Lanka Football where no proper development took place. He always blamed committee prior to 2013 saying they were corrupt, but did not take any action to substantiate any of the allegations.

Sunil Senaweera also said "during the past eight years football in Sri Lanka has moved backwards." He said he will support and vote for Anura De Silva to become the President of FFSL for the second time at the forthcoming office-bearers' election. He also said that if unsuitable individuals are granted nominations he will take legal action against them.

The FFSL office-bearers' election is due to be held on 1 July and acceptance of nominations closed yesterday at 4.45 p.m.

Senaweera further added, "Ranjith Rodrigo who has submitted his nomination to contest for the post of President has never played football. He has an identity card which says he played for Negombo Youth Team in 2000. However, I have not seen him play.

Therefore, according to Sports Law, we have a question as to how he can contest for the post of President. We believe that the Minister of Sports will look into this. The

Rs 120 million in fixed deposits the Federation had, no longer exists and Ranjith is responsible for this."

A group of people including, former Football Manager M. Rameez, former player Chathura Gunaratne, former Coach of Jupiters Nawa Prins and Manager of Don Bosco Stanley Perera were present at the media briefing.

During the press conference Don Bosco FC Director Fr. Antony Pinto also expressed his views and said, "Our club was banned by FFSL due to some player issues, but the same offence was committed by Ranjith Rodrigo's team Negombo Youth as well. However, FFSL did not take the same decision they took against Don Bosco. This reveals how much Rodrigo was dominating the FFSL."

"The Minister of Sports advised FFSL to punish both clubs, but Don Bosco was banned and Negombo Youth were only penalized."

Continuing further Senaweera said, "FIFA and AFC pumped millions of US dollars to develop local football clubs, but the money was not properly utilized at all. The best example that can be highlighted is in the Division I Tournament, where three clubs withdrew due to a cash strapped situation. The sorry state of our football can be assessed, when we are presently 193 out of 205 football playing countries according to latest FIFA rankings."

"We were no better when ranked 194, the lowest in our football history. 18-years back Sri Lankan football standards were higher and we were ranked 122 by FIFA in the South Asian region while Afghanistan was ranked 150, India 152, Maldives 174, Bangladesh 183, Nepal 188, Bhutan 192 and Pakistan 194."

Refuting the allegations, former President Ranjith Rodrigo replying a query by Ceylon Today said, "In the history of FFSL there was no such deposit made. I reject this allegation and will withdraw my nomination if it is proved right. These allegations are totally against me and I challenge them to contest me directly, rather than spreading false rumours among football lovers in Sri Lanka."

Posted on 2017-06-11 21:21:20
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