Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00
A significantly expanded second edition of the Cargills Food City FA Cup is slated to kick off soon, with the opening round of matches scheduled to commence mid-November.
Tournament organisers confirmed that 628 teams, consisting of 15,700 players from 71 leagues throughout the island, would vie for this yearâ€™s trophy. This represents a marked increase in participation from the inaugural competition, heightening the chances of a minnow usurping a more well-established club.
The first FA Cup was secured by Sri Lanka Army, who beat Kalutara Blue Star 2-0 in a gripping final at a packed Sugathadasa Stadium last year. Joining these two teams in the latest edition of the tournament will be a host of new clubs as well as regular heavyweights of the FA Cup such as Saunders, Ratnam and Renown.
Winners of the Cargills Food City FA Cup will walk away with a perfect replica of the English FA Cup trophy, along with cash prizes. Individual awards will also be up for grabs for players who perform impressively throughout the competition.
This yearâ€™s tournament also represents another step for Cargills in its agreement to support the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL), a partnership it entered into last year. So far the collaboration has seen Cargillsâ€™ involvement in a FIFA grassroots program, the Schools Under-19 Knockout Championship, womenâ€™s competition and beach football and futsal competitions.
From left :Cargills Food City Deputy General Manager Marketing Sanjeewa Fernando, Cargills Quality Foods City Chief Operation Officer Delan Dias, FFSL President Ranjith Rodrigo, Head of Cargills Sports Rumaiz Rahim and FFSL Secretary General Upali Hewage are also present - Pix by Daminda Harsha Perera
â€śThrough our partnership with the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, we will contribute towards the development of the national team by striving to build a new generation of outstanding football players in Sri Lanka. It is on this premise that the Cargills Food City FA Cup was established as a platform to popularise and increase the value of football in Sri Lanka,â€ť the Head of Cargills Sports, Rumaiz Rahim said.
Cargills Foods Company Ltd. Deputy General Manager Sanjeewa Fernando echoed these sentiments while adding: â€śFootball is a game which touches ordinary people in extraordinary ways. In that sense the gameâ€™s spirit is aligned to Cargills Food City and our own philosophy of making an impact in the lives of ordinary Sri Lankans.â€ť