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Four nations soccer tourney a boost for local players

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The four nations Football Championship for the Mahinda Rajapaksa Challenge Trophy is scheduled to commence on December 3 at Jayatilleke Stadium in Nawalapitiya. The teams participating are Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh and host Sri Lanka. This was revealed to the media at a press briefing held at the Football House in the presence of Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. The tournament is organized by the Ministry of Sports in association with the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.

Minister Aluthgamage addressing the media said that the tournament was initiated with the sole intention of giving the local soccerites the much needed international exposure. It was true that the ministry blamed the Football Federation on many issues when the national team failed to perform well at international level.

“It is noteworthy to inform that these issues were settled after many discussions and both parties got together to organize this tournament. The idea was discussed when I met officials during the Olympic Games in London, especially officials of South Asian countries,” said the minister.
While welcoming the proposal they also agreed to make this tournament an annual event. Maldives has already consented to host the second edition of the tournament in 2013.    

Adding further he said, “The national soccer team was to compete at the South Asian Games which was scheduled to be held in New Delhi in January. But with its postponement we got the opportunity to hold this tournament. I hope this international tournament will be a vital help to gain experience playing against South Asian countries prior to the games.”

The soccerites will be provided with a monthly allowance of Rs. 30,000. He also promised to find employment for them to lead a good life by becoming professional players. It was also the vision of the Football Federation but they failed to achieve it due to unavoidable circumstances. “With all facilities provided the players too must take a keen interest to perform well to bring glory to the country and to move further up in the rankings and become a high ranking soccer playing country in the Asian region,” the minister said.The minister revealed that a tournament of this magnitude was possible because of the lavish sponsorship they received from Dialog, Nestle Lanka Ltd., People’s Bank and CSN.

Last modified on Thursday, 21 August 2014 17:20

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