Sri Lanka’s performance gain accolades from various quarters
With an unfortunate start to the tournament against Bangladesh where they went down 0-1 due to errors made by the Syrian referee offering a penalty to the winners, which was later rectified as a free kick instead. They surged ahead to give a torrid time to another tournament favourite Nepal, who managed to edge out Sri Lanka 3-2 after a striking overall performance.
Reports indicate that both Bangladesh and Nepal consisted of players living overseas playing professional football with their respective clubs. Subsequently, after the post-match press briefing, the respective captains and the coaching staff revealed that they never expected the Lankan Lions to put up such performance at short notice. They further lauded that this team is imbibed with some fighting spirit, where they are capable of turning tables and bringing honour to the country if they continue further in the same spirit.
The Indians who are a dominant force in the Southeast Asian region is placed 101 in the FIFA World ranking, Maldives are placed 158, Bangladesh 168, and Nepal in 186 positions. The Lankans are unfortunately last in the table placed 204.
With the takeover of the new regime mid of this year, the Football Federation boss Jaswar Umar has infused lots of new thinking and ideas amidst criticism from various people. But the reality is that with his vision he is marching forward to reach the goal with sheer dedication and determination.
Overall, the football loving fraternity have placed some confidence over the present regime and on their approach, and the vision which is based on short, mid and long term strategies to rejuvenate the game to the next level inculcated under the vision of ‘Restart Football’.