A token of appreciation was handed over to the outgoing National Soccer coach Amir Algic. The picture shows Amir Alagic (2nd from left) receiving the token of appreciation from Jaswar Umar, President of FSL at a ceremony held recently. Others in the picture from left-Fabian Sellar, Treasurer, FSL and Upali Hewage, Secretary, FSL
The Sri Lanka National football coach Amir Alagic will bid adieu after serving quite some time. This was disclosed at a press briefing held by Football Sri Lanka (FSL) recently.
The 60-year old Bosnian-born Australian citizen Amir Alagic was contracted way back in early 2020 to play a dual role as the National Head Coach and Technical Director.
After the completion of the SAFF tournament, Amir was scheduled to be appointed to look after the regional development of the game under the purview of FIFA. Subsequently, he had to announce his departure due to various reasons including the present situation of the country which made matters worse both for FSL and him According to FSL President Jaswar Umar it was a tough decision to ask Amir to conclude his tenure and was compelled to come to this decision due to the prevailing situation in the country.
“We indeed are very upset over Amir’s departure. But after several friendly discussions with him, we decided that he should leave. Life has become tough for him, especially in the last few months where being a foreigner hunting for his daily needs. On the other hand, FSL can’t spend on foreign currency when there is a dollar crunch. Therefore, both parties agreed on a common consensus that the best option was to ask him to leave.”
“We know Amir has done a wonderful job revamping the game in the country. He is a hardworking person who worked tirelessly. He introduced a new legacy in the game and set up the structure for the game to flourish domestically and internationally.
We couldn’t hold him further but will recall his services as and when it is needed. We wholeheartedly wish him all the very best for all his future endeavours.” Said Jaswar. Amir was contracted to train the national team to gear up for the World Cup qualifiers in Korea way back in 2021. He performed a prolific job not only training the national team but also setting up the all-important structure here for the world’s most popular game, which was in a spot of bother at that time.
During his 26-month-long tenure, he had to face several obstacles including the Covid-19 pandemic which caused immense damage to his march forward with regard to their training and planning strategies.
Nevertheless, Amir held his nerve and got the support of the FSL administration to infuse new technology to fall in line on par with the other top soccer-playing countries. An indefatigable person with almost three decades of experience in coaching in various countries spent most of his time pulling back the national team to transform into a major force to reckon with, where he initially rated that Lankan football was two decades behind the stipulated standards. He started producing the necessary results in Korea where the National dribblers held the mighty Lebanon team to a draw (92nd ranked) and went down fighting against Korea. This made a new dimension in the local football fraternity as they went on to hold the regional giants India to a scoreless draw after two decades in the Maldives at the SAFF tournament last October.
The National team under the leadership of Sujan Perera annexed the runner-up trophy overcoming the other top-rated teams like Bangladesh and Maldives which was a commendable performance under Alagic’s guidance.
“It was a tough decision for me to take at this juncture but was compelled to do it for the betterment of both parties. The last 26 months had been a wonderful time in this beautiful country. I hope that I have introduced a new legacy in football and transformed the game to the next level. At the time, I took over here the game was at a low ebb. The system and the structure too were very legitimate level. I with the support of the FSL staff worked hard to infuse the right system which I feel I have done it.
Normally it takes 3 to 5 years to gain results but amidst several obstacles, we managed to bring up the national team to winning ways with a stipulated structure that was lacking earlier.
I am very happy that was able to get the team to winning ways in a short stint. Commencing from Korea where we held mighty Lebanon to a draw went fighting against Korea the hosts.
This made the morale of the team high and the biggest unforgettable moment of my stint here was holding India to a draw. Well, the performance of our team in the Maldives was a scintillating one where we should have won a few more matches if not for the errors made by the referees.
We just failed to win a title in Colombo at the four nations last November but our team showed a lot of character and never played second fiddle to any other team until we lost the final due to silly mistakes.”
“I thank the people and the media who stood by me in success here and feel that I have performed a task for Sri Lankan football’s success. I thank the incumbent president Jaswar for his unstinted support after he took over the office where he gave the necessary support in gearing up the national team for their preparations for the assignments. I will be there to support these wonderful people and the country if my service is required.” concluded the emotional Amir Alagic.