By Susil Premalal
The final of the Vantage FFSL President’s Cup 2020 tournament organized by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) will be held on a gala scale on September 2 at Sugathadasa Stadium.
“We are hoping that the new Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa will accept our invitation to grace the occasion as chief guest,” said FFSL President Anura de Silva at the press conference and official draw for the semifinals held at the Football House today..
The first tournament held after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a tremendous success with the participation of 20 leading teams from August 9 divided into five groups. The final originally scheduled to be held on August 31 has been shifted to September 2, according to the FFSL President.
The four teams in the semifinals scheduled to be worked off tomorrow at the Sugathadasa Stadium are Java Lane SC, Colombo FC, Red Star SC and Blue Eagles SC.
New Star SC from Panadura were disqualified despite defeating Blue Eagles in the quarter-final after they were found guilty of impersonation. Following a protest made by Blue Eagles, the FFSL Competitions Committee held an inquiry determined that New Star had field an ineligible player in the quarter-final which they won, FFSL President Anura de Silva. He said a further inquiry would be held against the club and officials.
The two semi-finals will kick-off at 4.15pm and 7.15pm tomorrow. Java Lane SC were drawn to play Blue Eagles in the first semifinal while Colombo FC will take on Red Star SC from Beruwela under lights.
“The kick-off times were put off because of the increase in humidity and to enable the players to give a better performance. The sole purpose of this tournament has been for football players to regroup, giving opportunity to clubs to showcase their skills and for FFSL to scout new talent for the national team,” said Anura de Silva.
The tournament is being played within closed doors, following strict health regulations because of the coronavirus with only 25 passes being given to each participating club.
Matches are being streamed live through FFSL’s official YouTube channel ‘Sri Lanka Football TV’.