Colombo Mayor predicts new era for football …

Eight of the best teams in the country will vie for honours and the football fraternity will be in for a treat when the invitation soccer tournament for the Mayor’s Cup kicks off at the Sugathadasa Stadium on December 6. The final will be held on December 12.

The tournament will see seven best teams of the country taking part, while an eighth team, made of the cream of talented players from the rest of the teams, will make this one of the most competitive events in the country’s football calendar.

The tournament is organized by the Colombo Municipal Council with necessary backing from the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.

“We expect that there will be a festive atmosphere at the Sugathadasa Stadium and a full house for all the matches. We are spending nearly four million rupees to make this a grand success and the winners and runners up will bag a lump sum of money while all the other teams will be presented with a cash awards,” said Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil at a press briefing held at the Mayor’s official residence yesterday.

“The winning team members will be awarded a silver medal each while the most valuable player of the tournament will be presented a special trophy,” he said.

“Most of the games will be played under floodlights. We know that football players are millionaires in other parts of the world but here it is a different story. We need to take this sport to the next level.

“These kinds of tournaments will surely lift the standard of the game while popularizing the sport among the Sri Lankans and we can say that a new era is on the way for football,” added the Mayor.

Football Federation of Sri Lanka president Anura de Silva said that they need a steady plan to take Sri Lankan football to higher standards. “We know that we are currently very poor at international level, but we are working on a plan which will take the country’s football to be more competitive at the international level within the next five to ten years,” he said.

The teams:

Mayor’s team, Java Lane SC, Saunders SC, Blue Star SC, Colombo Football Club, Super Sun SC, Renown SC and Crystal Palace SC.

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