Junior Badminton Spain tour under threat due to sponsorship issues
Rohan de Silva the President of SLB (second from left) briefing the media yesterday at the SLB headquarters. Also in the picture: Lakshmi Punchihewa Acting Secretary of SLB, Palitha Hettiarachchi Vice President and chairman of National pool training committee and Roshan Fernando Vice President and chairman of Technical committee
Sri Lanka Badminton junior team expected to take part in the World Junior Badminton Championship but due to sponsorship issues Lankan participation is doubtful. The tournament will commence from October 17 in Spain and the estimate budget for each player is Rs. 1.3 million said Sri Lanka Badminton President Rohan de Silva at the press briefing held at the SLB headquarters yesterday.
Actually Sri Lanka Badminton junior team comprised four boys and four girls. The selection committee headed by former National champion and Olympian Niroshan Wijekoon has selected team for the Spain tour but one section already protested against this selection and complained to the Police special sports corruption unit and this is still under investigation. However due to this investigations our four main sponsors have suspended their support and this has created problems for our shutters to go this tour said SLB President Rohan de Silva .
We asked from the Sports Ministry and requested for the players sponsorship but they refused that due to financial crisis at the moment. Earlier at least Air tickets issued from the Ministry and now it is also halted. We made good presentation to the National Sports Council headed by Arjuna Ranatunga and he also satisfied for that but never agreed for the finance assistance. Our sponsors also very dissapointed and this is a big issue for the selected shuttlers said SLB President.
At the moment National under 15 and under 17 teams are playing South Asian Junior tournament in India and Rs. 3.6 million given for this tour. The Rs. 2.5 million given by the SLB while rest of the balance money from Indian organisers (for Accommodation). However the section of the people always tried to point out selection issues and they all against Badminton administration. This is very unfair for the shuttlers said SLB President.
We are still trying to send our team to World Junior Championship in Spain but sponsorship issue created big problem. Before we did this team selections the parents of the shuttlers agreed to find sponsorship money by their own. However we knew this is very difficult task and tried to do our best.
Our selection committee appointment approved by the Sports Minister while the committee comprised chairman Niroshan Wijekoon, international referee Ajith Wijayasinghe, Himali Fernando and Amila Kalugamage. They did a very decent job but I am surprised about the people who complained to the special police investigation unit.
The unit is for investigate corruptions especially financial issues and sport and match fixing issuies but today some people made complain to selections and first time we saw that type of insident.
However Sport Ministry has given their permission to continue this tour added Rohan de Silva. The Vice President of SLB Palitha Hettiarachchi who is the chairman of National pool training said selectors did their part very well and Indian tour has already started and our aim is to send best selected team for the World Junior Badmionton Championship.The Vice President Roshan Fernando who is the technical committee chairman and Acting secretary Lakshmi Punchihewa were also present at this press briefing and parents of the selected team members of this tour were also present.