The City Football League ground redeveloped with the funds obtained from the tsunami Solidarity and the Basel pavilion a donation from Ms.Gigi Oeri, the Chairperson of FC Basel and President of the SCORT Foundation, Switzerland will be opened by the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today at 3.30 p.m.
The President of the Asian Football Confederation Mohamed Bin Hammam and Ms Gigi Oeri arrived in the island yesterday along with their delegation to participate at the opening ceremony.
The two- member delegation from the governing body for soccer is represented by Urs Werner Kluser, FIFA Head of National Association Dept., David Michael Borja FIFA Development Manager. They were here on many occasions to have a check on the construction work in progress.
The ground will be fully equipped with all the modern facilities needed to be to conduct international matches too.
The main building comprises of a Secretariat, Gym, Auditorium and a dormitory for the players. In addition there will be floodlights.
The funds were available through the FIFA the world governing body for the sport, the Asian Football Confederation and the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.
The tsunami disaster which ripped through the island damaging most of the football grounds in the coastal area was seen by the FIFA as a great loss for the sport, came forward to uplift the game in Sri Lanka.
This prompted these organizations to support FFSL financially. These finances have helped immensely to uplift these grounds at a time it needed the most.
With the assistance coming in a large scale football in Sri Lanka could certainly take a step forward to reach greater heights in the Asian region.
Gigi Oeri the chairperson of the Basel FC who has taken a great interest in Sri Lanka Football came up with finances to build the pavilion for the same with modern amenities. As the pavilion is constructed solely on Switzerland support it was named as the Basel Pavilion.
All these happenings took place with the untiring efforts of Manilal Fernando who made the first initiative to look for assistance soon after the tsunami destruction. He is a man highly dedicated to promote soccer in Sri Lanka. At this juncture he had no other alternative but to request for help from the governing body and the Asian Football Confederation.
He used his ability to the maximum to convince the concerned parties.
He was also able to put forward his plans to develop the game in Sri Lanka in a pleasing manner to attract the attention of all who were at the top of these governing bodies. This went the channels with out any hindrance and today we in Sri Lanka are enjoying the benefits of his hard work.
The organizers have made arrangements to conduct the Dialog Premier League match between Ratnam SC and Renown SC as the opening match will be high interest for all present on this day.
AFC President s tour party consist of it General Secretary Alex Soosay and Personal Assistant to the President Mohamed Mehshadi.
The delegation from Switzerland headed by Mrs. Gigi comprise of Fritz Markus Schmid, Hanspeter Rothmund and Marc-Andre Buchwalder all from SPORT Foundation.
Meanwhile the Football Federation of Sri Lanka will also take the tour parties to Mannar for the opening of the Mannar Football League ground on October 14 which too was developed under the tsunami Project Fund by FIFA, AFC and the FFSL. The chief guest at this ceremony will be his Lordship Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph.