Sri Lanka has been imposed with a 20,000 US dollar fine for its failure to send a team to the under-17 Asian football championship 2022.
The Asian Football Council (AFC) faulted Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) over its absence in the tournament’s first leg that took place in Uzbekistan from 05 to 09 of October.
A team of 23 players and five officials were unable to depart on October 03 as scheduled as air tickets were not booked for the journey.
This fine will further deepen the crisis in local football which is already facing a possible international sanction over its election of office-bearers, said local experts.
A tug-of-war between the FFSL and the Sports Ministry prevented the U-17 team from playing in Uzbekistan, after minister Roshan Ranasinghe cancelled a gazette that extended the terms of all sports governing bodies by two months.
By that time, the FFSL had trained the team and even hosted an under-17 South Asian tournament, where the locals won against the Maldives.
With the FFSL losing its official status due to the gazette, its former administration and players’ parents had notified the ministry about no authority being available to sanction the team’s flight.
The AFC’s disciplinary committee is also reported to be considering a ban on Sri Lanka’s participation in the next edition of the championship.