|Thursday, 3 June 2004|
Dialog and FFSL in a ....:
'Marriage with no divorce'
by Elmo Rodrigopulle
'A marriage with no divorce'. That's how Dr. Hans Wijesuriya, Chief Executive of Dialog described the football wedlock between his company and the Football Federation in sponsorship.
He said this at a glittering ceremony to launch the Premier League 2004 at the Galadari Hotel on Tuesday.
Born out of this wedlock was the KIT Dialog GSM Premier League 2004 soccer tournament which would kick off soon.
Dialog CEO further said that they were delighted with the success that has been achieved since partnering the FFSL in the progress and development of the game in the country.
Wijesuriya was convinced that they did right in responding to the call of Manilal Fernando requesting them to score for football by sponsoring the Premier League.
Wijesuriya further said that they are ever willing to help in the progress of all sport in the country. 'True the FFSL had problems when the league was kicked off. But once they got the feel of things they did a marvellous job. And we at Dialog must say that they finished brilliantly'.
Manilal Fernando, the man who makes the impossible, possible for the game, player and the administration and who kick started the tourney with the sponsorship of Dialog, said that a tournament of this magnitude needs clever organisation where all officials must work as a team.
'Like a new born, there was the crawling or the teething problems. But once this bouncing baby that is the Premier League got walking, it performed beyond expectations and now is a thing that is much looked forward to by the spectators who gather in their numbers to watch the action.
He said that the success of the league was underlined by the large crowds that flocked to every playing venue.
DIG Gamini Randeni, President FFSL firstly thanked Dialog for their generous sponsorship and promised the sponsors that this tourney would be better than the one that was concluded.
Everyone present appreciated and paid tribute to all those who contributed to the resounding success of the tournament. It was conducted in a highly professional manner and the interest shown by the participating clubs and their supporters was encouraging.
As usual the frustrated tried to belittle the tie up of Dialog with the FFSL and moved to derail the tourney. But kicking is what this game is about, and it was amazing to see the FFSL who played as a team dribbling and kicking the frustrated and the saboteurs completely out of the ground. They got the message and they did not indulge in their dirty tactics again.
With a lot of money to be won and with the FFSL promising more goodies, the 16 teams are hard at training and all are clamouring:
'We want another one, just like the other one'.
Produced by Lake House