FFSL election: ‘Football first; let’s play!’, says Dr. Manil Fernando
By Hafiz Marikar
Manil Fernando is an orthopaedic doctor by profession but a passionate football follower too. He has been Chairman of the FFSL medical committee whilst being a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) medical committee too. He also runs the Kalutara Football League.
As per Dr. Fernando’s manifesto for the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) AGM, his ultimate goal is to make the game the most popular and no.1 sport in Sri Lanka.
He also believes, “sport, specifically football, could be utilised to create this shared experience amongst the community by forging a common identity where individuals see themselves as a part of a nation as a whole, as opposed to specific racial, religious, or other groups.”
Eradiating politics from sports
Dr. Fernando wished to start work by “developing basic football-related infrastructure facilities in the country and by instigating pro-active programmes to spike an interest and skill in the game, especially amongst the youth and younger students in the country.”
Dr. Fernando firmly believes that in order to truly develop the sport, especially football, action must be taken to eradicate corruption and undue politics that have infiltrated the sports bodies in order to ensure true development and progress of the sport in Sri Lanka.
He thinks that there is a lot of room to improve when it comes to sports administration and he also wishes to do an overhaul of the governing structure, if he is to be elected, in order to increase the efficiency.
A team full of experts
Dr. Fernando’s team includes current SLFF President Anura De Silva who will be contesting for the General Secretary post. Rohitha Fernando, current President of the Wennappuwa Football League, will be contesting for the post of Deputy Secretary – Technical. Anthony Davidson, Abdul Gaffar, Kanchana Jayarathne, and Saif Yusoof are Dr. Fernando’s Vice Presidential candidates. T.H.S. Indika will contest as the Deputy Secretary – Administration.