Head coach and TD Amir Alagic bids adieu to FSL

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By Mustaq Sydeen 

Former head coach of the men’s national football team and current Technical Director Amir Alagic will be leaving his role by end of June 2022 due to Football Sri Lanka (FSL) facing difficulty of paying his salary in foreign currency.

Addressing a media briefing in Colombo yesterday, FSL President Jaswar Umar stated: 

“Due to the current economic and social difficulties, paying salaries in foreign currency is a difficult task at this stage. Therefore, FIFA, Alagic and Football Sri Lanka have mutually agreed to end his services as the head coach and the Technical Director of Football Sri Lanka. FSL believes that this is the best and timely option due to the country’s situation and for the betterment of Amir Alagic’s professional career”.  

Alagic joined Football Sri Lanka in February 2020 as the head coach of the men’s national team, and was appointed Technical Director in February 2022. 

Ever since the Bosnian born tactician took over the reins of the National camp, the Islanders have had some inspirational performances on the pitch, which proves beyond doubt their ability on the field, the most notable being their valiant performance in the Four Nation Tournament in 2021. The lads have shown a lot of improvement when it comes to playing a positive brand of football and scrapping the long-ball tactics in big matches. 

The Bosnian tactician must take much of the credit for providing a calming influence and shrewd guidance, which was witnessed with Sri Lanka’s recent performances on the international stage. 

Under his coaching, the men’s team competed as World Cup qualifiers in South Korea, SAFF Football Championship in the Maldives and Four Nation Prime Minister’s Trophy in Sri Lanka, where the hosts became the runner-up on the international stage after 18 years.  

“I am going as a happy man. I have brought back hope, gained respect and taken football to the rural areas. I must give credit to most media who were behind me every step of the way. I must thank President Jaswar Umar and his administration for trusting in me. President Jaswar was a pillar of strength during these times. We need to continue what we started. I may leave but my heart stays here,” said the tactician. 

When questioned what was the highlight during his tenure with Football Sri Lanka, he went on to say, “I would say the highlight of my career is the stalemate against India in the SAFF Championship. I believe India are the giants in Asia Football, so that performance from our boys was a special one.” 

Champions League to kick off from May 2022 

Champions League 2022 and the second tier competition of Football Sri Lanka is scheduled to kick off in May and continue till August. 

14 teams have been selected to take part this season and will compete against each other in a League format. Each team will play a total of 13 matches and the entire tournament will comprise 91 matches.

Each team will be granted Financial Assistance up to Rs 2,500,000.00 for the entire season.

The prize money for the Champions will be Rs 1 million, while the runner-up will be awarded Rs 750,000. 

Teams Selected:

Crystal Palace FC, Java Lane SC, Matara City Club, Moragasmulla SC,  Negombo Youth FC, New Star SC, Pelicans SC, Saunders SC, Serendib SC, SL Police SC, SLTB SC, St. Mary’s SC, Solid SC, Super Sun SC.