Former football President Ranjith Rodrigo puts his hat in | Daily News

Former football President Ranjith Rodrigo puts his hat in

Ranjith Rodrigo
Ranjith Rodrigo

Ranjith Rodrigo, the former President of the football governing body, has submitted his nomination for the post of Vice-President under Jaswar Umar’s camp atr the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on June 7 at the Racecourse Ground Pavilion commencing at 1.30 p.m.

He has taken this decision in the best interest of the game. Rodrigo served as the President at a time when Sri Lanka was ranked 170 in the FIFA Ratings.

His first foray into football was as Chairman of Negombo Youth SC. After entering the football family in 1996, he served as a member of the governing body and was later elevated to several positions, including Senior Vice-President in 2010 and served in that capacity until 2013.

In 2013, he was elevated to the highest position - President of the Federation - and served till 2015. He left the Federation in 2017 after playing a pivotal role in enabling them to reach great heights with his vast experience in administration.

He also served in the Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee in the World Football Body FIFA, and also in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

“This year’s AGM is very important for leagues and for the respective clubs which will decide the plight of football in Sri Lanka. A new leader with innovation and dedication is the need of the hour.”

“I reckon that Umar is the most suitable person for this; to lift the standard and to regain the lost glory of the game. This is the very reason I decided to rejoin and support him to develop the game.”

“Due to various lapses in the present administrations the game has fallen to a spot of bother. Most of the stakeholders of the game requested me to make a comeback and support this ill-fated game.”

“When I took over as President, we were 190 in FIFA Ratings. When I left this post we managed to climb up to 171 in 2015. See the plight now - we are third from last.”

“I have to ask the incumbent administration that served for six years whether they are happy with the present positioning as they are answerable for the present plight.”

“If we continue with the present trend the game will fade away from the country. Therefore, I kindly urge the Leagues to support Umar and make him President and enable his team to achieve a great victory at the upcoming elections,” said Rodrigo.

Dr. Manil Fernando

“The contestant from the other camp Dr. Manil Fernando served as the Chairman of the Youth Football Development Committee from 2003 to 2013.”

“Later, he was a Vice-President. From 2003 to 2021 he served in the Executive Committee (except for two years). In 2013, he was Youth Development Chairman under his father’s (Manilal Fernando) leadership, where he should have done something for the game.”

“Leaving out all these opportunities, why is he so particular about coming into power is the question raised by the football fraternity.”

“They took revenge from the Leagues who supported me and now I have to do justice to them. Don’t forget, when I lost my second tenure, I contested single handedly accruing 88 votes, whereas my rivals as a coalition managed to get 102 votes only.”

“Umar helped me a lot when I was President and later went against me. Later, he realised the truth and came back to me, for which I am happy.”

“He is a young lad who has a vision and is an indefatigable person who has won the hearts of many people. He is like ‘captain cool’ who will navigate the football ship safely.”

“Out of the rest, three who supported me then have pledged their support this time too. Jaswar has been assured 42 votes from the Leagues from North and East and collectively we will have a convincing victory on the 7th.”

“The tenure of the members who get elected this year is for one year. Within that time, we have to amend the Constitution. During my tenure I managed to oversee several development programmes, including refurbishing the Jaffna Ariyalai Grounds which was used as a cattle mart.”

“I converted it into a suitable ground where the game could be played. The present national team jersey was designed by me in 2013 after negotiating an agreement with the State of Qatar.”

“First, we must start developing school football. See cricket and rugby - they tie-up with the parent body and work closely, which has brought immense success but in football it is not there.”

During our time we gave the Schools Association a place in our Head Office. The disorganisation of school football is also a valid reason for the decline of the game in the country.”