Sri Lankan soccer in limbo after FIFA suspension
Colombo, Mar 17 (EFE).- The future of Sri Lankan soccer was uncertain, a distinguished figure of the sport in the country warned on Friday – as the game remains without sponsors and its reputation has been tarnished by the inaction of authorities – a day after FIFA extended the national soccer federation’s suspension.
“The biggest setback for Sri Lanka is that the Football Federation of Sri Lanka depends wholly on foreign aid from organizations such as FIFA. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Sports does not give anything, and the sport does not have any sponsors anymore,” former FFSL president Ranjith Rodrigo told EFE.
He added that the failure of the ministry and the current top brass of the federation to get the FIFA suspension revoked had severely affected the country’s reputation in the sport, and this could compromise the future of Sri Lankan soccer.
“It is unfair for the players and in this background, no new players will join (football),” Rodrigo said.
As part of widespread criticism after the suspension was extended, a group of Sri Lankan footballers released a Facebook video urging the authorities to “work together” and “lift the ban.”
FIFA had in January suspended the FFSL due to political interference in the body’s elections, and on Thursday 197 countries voted to continue the ban until the federation fulfilled the requirements. including the election of a new executive committee.
Gianni Infantino, who was on Friday reelected as FIFA president until 2027, said that the world soccer body had suspended FFSL on Jan. 21, 2023 due to third party interference, particularly that of the sports and youth affairs ministry, in the electoral process. EFE