Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) could face severe consequences after the Ministry of Education confirmed that the parent body failed to obtain ‘any approval’ from the ministry when they sent out national squads for the Junior Federation Cup and Federation Cup events respectively.
SLTA are indeed entitled to name a national squad through the respective national selection committee, but any touring squad that includes school students must necessarily obtain the sanction of the Ministry of Education.
SLTA sent a team to Junior Federation Cup which was held in Thailand last April where they finished 12th while the national team that took part in the Federation Cup last month in Tajikistan also did not perform exceptionally. However, what is pertinent is that both these squads comprised of school students.
“Ministry of Education has not given any approval or prior approval to Sri Lanka Tennis Association to participate the (sic) teams including school students in to(sic) above tournaments,” a letter from the Ministry of Education reveals. The letter goes on to state, “I look forward for the (sic) necessary actions taken on this matter for further administrative purposes”. On the other hand all Sports Associations and Federations including the SLTA should obtain ratification of the Sports Ministry before sending a national squad on a foreign tour. However, when contacted by the ‘ Dailymirror ’ an official of the Department Of Sports Development claimed that the Federation Cup squad was not ratified by the Sports Ministry although they were not certain whether the SLTA had got the approval personally from the Minister himself.
“None of the documents we possess suggest that they had the approval or ratification. They were late to submit the documents which needed to be submitted 14 working days prior to the tournament,” the official from the Department Of Sports Development told “Dailymirror”.
In addition to that material available appears to suggest that the selection committee which picked the national squad for the Federation Cup was not a valid one as their term of office ended on May 15.
SLTA has sent a letter to the Ministry of Sports on May 13 requesting for an extension only to be rejected by the Ministry.
Thereafter the SLTA has sent an application for Selection Committee 2019/2020 with ten nominees on June 3 – just a few days prior to the Federation Cup. In response the Department of Sports Development had informed the SLTA that four of the ten nominees namely, Arjun Fernando, Aruna Senevirathne, Sriya Munasinghe and Senaka Kumara ‘will not be recommended for the post due to issues during their previous tenure.’ When the “Dailymirror”contacted the SLTA headquarters, a female employee told that the President Iqbal Bin Isaac was unavailable and rarely comes to office while she failed to provide an explanation on how SLTA sent these players on foreign tours without proper approval.