Football in Sri Lanka is taking a new turn for the better. President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) Anura de Silva said that match fixers will be suspended for life if found guilty of such an offence. This was disclosed at the launch of the Dialog Champions League tournament, held on June 15 at the Dialog headquarters.
Already one player who confessed to being involved in match fixing is suspended for life. He had approached five other players to engage in match fixing. However, they had refused, thus were acquitted of the charges.
Clubs are also advised to restrict the number of foreign players playing in the Champions League due to financial constrains. These clubs have to pump in large sums of money to pay these foreign players. Instead they are advised to reward the local players generously for performing well in matches.
Clubs are also advised by the FFSL not to offer these foreign players more than a one year contract as they may face issues regarding their visas.
The FFSL claims that the Dialog Champions League is the best tournament in the country and it is looking to elevate the standards by taking it to all parts of the country. Dialog has come forward to sponsor this League for the 11th consecutive year.
Eighteen teams are in the fray this year. Compared to the tournament last year, there is a reduction of four teams. This has been done with the intention of making the competition more vibrant. This will also help the FFSL to scout for talented players who will be selected to the national pool for future assignments.
The 18 teams will be divided in to two groups and they will play each other in the first round. At the end of the first round the first four teams from each group will be formed in to the Super Eight stage and they will play each other once. The points earned in the first round will not be taken into account for this round. At the end this Super Eight stage, the leaders will be declared as the League Champions.