Pro-licence coach from UK tipped to be appointed

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Football Sri Lanka (FSL) is mulling to appoint a high profile pro-licence coach from the United Kingdom as the new head coach for the men’s national football team, President Jashwar Umar confirmed.

Earlier, Ceylon Today revealed that candidates from Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have been shortlisted, though their names were not disclosed by FSL to the media.

The new coach will be appointed for a period of four years, with the agreement renewable every two years.

The governing body expects a major shake-up of the men’s national team by recruiting top foreign coaches, including local coaches for the new set-up.

FSL President Jashwar Umar commenting on the new coach went onto say:

“We were able to negotiate a contract with a pro-licence coach from UK and he will be in Sri Lanka in the coming days. Football fans in the island nation can expect a major shake-up, and I can definitely say football in Sri Lanka is heading in the right direction.”

However, the outgoing former head coach Bosnian Amir Alagic’s contract was ended due to difficulty of paying his salary in Dollars, and it will be interesting to see how FSL will manage to pay the new head coach in Dollars.

Alagic came to Sri Lanka as one of the most high-profile foreign coaches in its football history. There is no denying that Alagic faced situations that no previous head coach of the National team had to endure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the resultant chaos, the Bosnian achieved his objective with an improved performance in the World Cup Qualifiers, SAFF, and especially in the Four Nations Tournament, and there is no doubt the game has caught the imagination of the country’s youth.

However, the new coach’s first assignment will be the upcoming AFC Asian Cup qualifier which is scheduled to kick off in June. The National team has been camped in Beddagana to commence practices prior to their opening match against Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, at a time when the Sports Ministry has instructed all Federations/Associations to conduct their AGM before 31 May, Football Sri Lanka has requested the Sports Ministry for more time to conduct their annual general meeting since they are looking to amend their constitution. 

Reportedly FSL has sought time an extension of 2-3 months from the Sports Ministry to amend the constitution in line with the statute of the world body governing the sport, FIFA.

Among the new amendments to the constitution is the time period of the President in office, which will be extended from one year to four years.

By Mustaq Sydeen