By Susil Premalal
Major League Football will return to Sri Lanka after a lapse of two years when the FFSL President’s Cup 2020 Invitation Tournament is set for kick-off on August 9 with the participation of 20 teams.
It will be a precursor for the planned semi-professional Super League competition scheduled to begin in November and also will serve as an opportunity to scout for new talent for the National Team, according to the President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) Anura de Silva.
“Our primary objective is to revive football in the country battered by the Easter Sunday attacks and bad weather last year followed unfortunately by the Coronavirus pandemic,” FFSL President de Silva said at the launch of the logo and the official draw of the competition held at the Football House in Colombo yesterday.
The top 24 ranked teams according to their performances in the 2018 Dialog Premier League Championship were invited to participate in this unique tournament out of which 20 agreed to participate.
The FFSL has allocated Rs. 30 million as participation fees for the 20 teams while the champions will receive Rs. 300,000 as prize money.
The tournament will be played within closed doors and strict health regulations because of the Coronavirus.
All matches are scheduled to be played at the Racecourse Grounds and Sugathadasa Stadium. The venue for the semi-finals and final is yet to be decided.
The teams: Group ‘A’: Blue Star, Up Country, Java Lane, Moragasmulla. Group ‘B’: Renown, Matara City, New Youngs, New Star. Group ‘C’: Defenders, Red Stars, Saunders, Super Sun. Group ‘D’: Sea Hawks, Ratnam, Police, Serendib. Group ‘E’: Colombo FC, Blue Eagles, Crystal Palace, SLTB.