The Sri Lankan soccerites are to be rewarded with a bonus for their superb performance against Maldives, when they forced a 4-all draw in the tournament opener for the “Mahinda Rajapaksa Trophy” at Race Course ground on Tuesday.
Jaswar Umar the President of Football Sri Lanka (FSL) made this announcement after launching the official trophy, and was pretty jubilant over the national team’s performance. “I am delighted over my team’s performance, especially the fighting spirit of the lads who bounced back to force a draw against a much higher ranked team. Now the football loving fraternity in the country can see how we are gradually moving forward on the right track and getting conducive to winning ways, which is a highly commendable sight for the development of the game,” said Jaswar.
After consultation with the executive committee, Jaswar is likely to disclose the amount which will be offered to the players. He has also made necessary arrangements to increase the player’s salary slabs which were at a very low ebb compared to the present circumstances. He was reluctant to disclose the slabs, but assured that the boys are now much relieved and relaxed where they now can concentrate on the game without any hindrance.
“We will take up this bonus payment matter with the exco and decide on an amount. I and my committee have increased the player’s salaries to a better level than what it was. Before the boys were struggling with various issues with their day-to-day life with the amount they were receiving. But with the new scheme they can now concentrate on playing the game while having a happy family life,” he further added.
This is the first tournament played in the country after several decades involving national teams. There had been international tournaments earlier but under various age categories. After almost two years football in Sri Lanka has restarted and this is an ideal opportunity to boost tourism in the country. A tournament of this nature is likely to carry the message to the world citing that Sri Lanka is now ready to cater to tourists after a long period.
“This is a much-needed tournament for the game to boom to the next level. We have had many tournaments involving age categories in the past. But with the National team’s representation, this is the inaugural quadrangular event. As we promised in our election manifesto this is a good start and coincides with my vision of ‘Restart-Football’. This has got the all-important FIFA window and ratings which is a unique feature. Nevertheless, we as a team, we will and are dedicated to give our best to develop and raise the standard of the game to reach the pinnacle in the region,” concluded Jaswar.