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COPE summons present and former Presidents of Football Federation to probe irregularities



by Saman Indrajith

Chairman of parliament watchdog, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Prof. Charitha Herath on Thursday abruptly suspended the committee’s probe on Football Federation of Sri Lanka, due to the absence of incumbent and former presidents of the federation.

Prof Herath gave a directive that the investigation on the federation would be held on another date again and ordered that all top officials including the former and incumbent presidents should be present before the committee on that date. The date has been fixed for May 06, parliament sources said.

The committee pointed out that although ten members were elected to the executive committee of the Football Federation, it was revealed that the chairman would appoint another 18 members to the committee.

The COPE instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to intervene immediately as it was a major problem, even though it was done in accordance with the Constitution of the Federation. Secretary to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Anuradha Wijekoon said that an order would be issued soon to prevent the appointment of 18 members by the Chairman.

The COPE pointed out that the election committees to conduct elections in those sports bodies were being set up by those associations themselves and therefore such activities were being carried out without any transparency.

It was revealed that Rs. 750,000 will be given to the Chairman of the Election Committee for the forthcoming election of the Football Federation and Rs. 600,000 each would be given to the other two members and this was severely criticized by the committee. It was also revealed that a situation had arisen due to the inability to oppose the decisions of the Chairman as there were 18 members appointed by him.

The Committee drew the attention to irregularities of the former chairman of the Federation Manilal Fernando in using money provided by various institutions.

Accordingly misappropriation of a sum of Euro 40,400 (nearly Rs 6 million) which had been donated by the Italian Football Players Association to construct a football playground in Kalutara, a sum of USD 60,000 (nearly Rs 6 million) which had been given by the Asian Football Federation for competitions, a sum of Rs.10 million which had been given by a private company to construct 20 houses for tsunami victims and a sum of USD 200,000 which had been donated by the Asian Football Federation were discussed at the meeting.

It was also revealed that the current President of the Federation had submitted an affidavit to the court stating that no such financial irregularities had taken place in the background of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division concluding its investigations and filing cases in the courts. The committee pointed out that it was a serious matter to inform through an affidavit that it had not happened.

The COPE Chairman pointed out that the game of football in the country had fallen to a very low level and it was a tragedy that despite such a large allocation of funds, it had fallen to such a low level. Therefore, the current chairman and former chairman Manilal Fernando should be summoned immediately before the COPE committee to investigate the matter, the COPE committee said.

The COPE chairman emphasized that the Ministry should always be vigilant about the role of these associations and that direct supervision should be carried out by the Ministry.

He also instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to pay more attention to associations such as the Sri Lanka Cricket and the Football Federation.

Ministers Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Sarath Weerasekera, MPs Rauf Hakeem, Nalin Bandara, S.M. Marikkar and S. Rasamanikkam, Secretary to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Director General of the Department of Sports Development along with other officials and officials of Football Federation were present at the meeting.



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Foreign News

Australia T20 captain retires from international cricket




Aaron Finch hit 63 in his final international innings against Ireland at the 2022 Men's T20 World Cup (pic BBC)

BBC reported that former Australia white-ball captain Aaron Finch has announced his retirement from international cricket.

Opening batter Finch, 36, was Australia’s T20 captain, having retired from one-day internationals in September..

He represented Australia in five Tests, 146 one-day internationals and 103 T20s, leading them to their first T20 World Cup title in 2021.

Finch said it had been “incredible honour” to play for Australia.

He is set to continue playing in domestic T20 competitions, including in the Big Bash League (BBL) for Melbourne Renegades.

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Fun Run announcing Asian Games at Port City today



The Fun Run announcing the Asian Games will be held at Port City today. The event was announced at a function held in Colombo on Monday.

The official Fun Run announcing the 19th Asian Games will be held under the patronage of the Olympic Council of Asia Director General -Dr. Husain Al-Musallam and a host of dignitaries at the Colombo International Financial City (Port City) today.

The quadrennial Asian Games which was originally scheduled for September 2022 was postponed in May due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in and around the host city of Hangzhou in China. The Game will now be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8, 2023 under the motto of “Heart to Heart, @Future.”

The ‘Fun Run’ which acts like a baton relay of sorts was announced at a function held in Colombo yesterday.

The Fun Run will be held at the presence of Wu Jianzhong -Deputy Director of Games Services Department, Ge Jianyang -Staff of Press and Public Relations Department, Bao Hanyuan -Staff of Games Services Department and delegates from the Olympic Council of Asia. The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka will be represented by its President Suresh Subramaniam, Secretary General NOC Sri Lanka Maxwell de Silva along with the executive committee of the NOC Sri Lanka.

To liven up this colourful pageant there will be a surfeit of sports and cultural activities involving over 700 persons. The highlight of the day’s activity will be a Jet Ski show presented by Sri Lanka Navy and a traditional Martial Art -Angampora Demonstration recited by the Army sports division. The President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka Suresh Subramaniam aired the importance of the Fun Run. He said “the presence of the Olympic Council of Asia Director General -Dr. Husain Al-Musallam who is the main cog behind Asian Games 2022, signifies how serious they are about the success of the event. Besides that, there is a host of other Games Officials who will await eagerly to see the successful completion of this event and report back as to what Sri Lanka is capable of delivering. For us this is a momentous opportunity and we are taking it with both hands”.

Commenting on the significance of the event, NOC Sri Lanka Secretary General Maxwell de Silva said “akin to the Olympic Day Run or the Commonwealth Games Baton relay or the Asian Games Fun Run is very significant. In reality the “Fun Run” is the flag-off of the event and the Lankan leg of the baton that will take place at the Port City, Colombo.” The Olympic Council of Asia is stepping up its “Asian Games for All” promotional campaign right now.

A major part of this campaign is the Asian Games Fun Run, which is held throughout the continent and brings together elite athletes, social runners, students/children and sports officials. The OCA is working closely with the National Olympic Committees in all five zones to create a Fun Run calendar in order to promote the upcoming Asian Games and involve all levels of the community in a family-oriented activity. To this end, the OCA has released a schedule for February and March taking in two of the five zones: South Asia and South East Asia. The programme is still being assembled for the three remaining zones -West Asia, Central Asia and East Asia -in conjunction with the NOCs and will be released shortly.

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Amameth century propels Mahanama



Under 19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

A century by Kavindu Amameth was the highlight of the day as Mahanama posted 363 runs against De Mazenod on day one of the traditional cricket encounter at Kandana on Monday.

Amameth top scored with 126 runs (in 173 balls, 9x4s, 4x6s) and put on a third wicket stand of 206 runs with Inuka Karannagoda as Mahanama dominated proceedings on day one.

In the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ match at Uyanwatta, St. Servatius’ cemented their top position in Group ‘Z’ by scoring a first innings points against Devapathiraja.


St. Servatius’ earn first innings points against Devapathiraja at Uyanwatta



113 all out in 35.3 overs (Gimhan Rasanjana 24, Pawan Sandesh 24, Tharush Damindu 3/18, Kushan Wijerama 4/25, Chathum Bimsara 2/32) and 151 for 8 decl. in 36.2 overs (Darshaka Sandeep 46, Jeewaka Shashin 31; Chathum Bimsara 2/21, Kushan Wijerama 3/34, Thisan Dewmith 2/40)

St. Servatius’

92 for 6 overnight 123 all out in 48.3 overs (Mithila Charles 39, Vishwa Supun 23, Diniru Abeywickramasinghe 25; Irushka Thimira 6/47, Puljith Wathsuka 2/34) and 110 for 4 in 26.2 overs (Mithila Charles 27, Diniru Abeywickramasinghe 36, Chiran Neththaru 23n.o.; Puljith Wathsuka 2/38)

Mahanama dominate day one proceedings at Kandana



363 all out in 92.1 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Inuka Karannagoda 75, Rashmika Perera 52, Chamika Heenatigala 24, Eshan Withanage 24; Kavindu Kaushalya 4/97, Thushan Udayanga 3/64, Sithum Fernando 3/71)

De Mazenod

2 for 1 in 5 overs

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