By Susil Premalal
The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) has decided to draft 12 foreign nationals into their National Pool from January 2021.
The 12 players based in Europe will be included in the National Pool on the advice of Sri Lanka’s Head Coach and Technical Director of FFSL, Amir Alagic, FFSL President, Anura de Silva told the Daily Mirror today.
The FFSL is holding online discussions with non-professional youth players based in Germany, France and England who are competing in leagues there. The selected European-based players should either be born in Sri Lanka or their parents should be of Sri Lankan origin.
The main intention of drafting these foreign players is to introduce European-style football into the National Squad. The other target is to win the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) title.
The 22-member National Pool was disbanded because of the surge in the Coronavirus pandemic and will be reconvened in January following Health Ministry guidelines. Training would begin in earnest under the guidance of Alagic with the inclusion of foreign nationals.
Sri Lanka has yet to play three international matches as part of the FIFA 2022, Doha World Cup Qualifiers in the Asian region. The aim of the FFSL is to give a good performance without conceding too many goals if they fail to win or draw these encounters.
According to the revised AFC schedule, Sri Lanka will be away to North Korea on March 25, face South Korea at home on March 30 and away to Lebanon on June 5.