Kandy seeks help from new FSL officials to uplift soccer | Daily News

Kandy seeks help from new FSL officials to uplift soccer

Kandy’s football lovers are expecting the newly elected committee of the controlling body will give the best of support for Kandy football and bring back the game to its former postion. Kandy needs a wake and more backing for football at club level. Kandy had its baptism of football in the mid 1930s during World War I. That was when the British military units were stationed in Kandy with that time Commander in Chief of the Allied Forces, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten having his headquarters in the hill capital.

Earlier several top British footballers displayed their versatility, representing the Kingstown and Queenstown regiments, the Royal artillery, and also the West African Rifles, which also had quite a few Negro stars in their ranks. Football was the main sport at that time in the hills. So, the game increased in popularity day by day, because it was played with great interest. Some of the clubs which took to the sport in the 1930s were Old Antonians SC, Old Kingswoodians SC, Police SC, Kandy YMCA, Greenfield SC, Kandy Sports Club, Phoenix SC, St. Michael’s SC, Gampola Chums, Rovers SC, Kandy YMMA and Red Stars SC.

The sport with foreign flavor was getting popular and it was played everywhere. Some were seen playing it in the streets. Wherever any space was available, football was played and the late doyen of sports M.S. Jainudeen, the father of famous ruggerite Shafie Jainudeen was the man behind the scene. Jainudeen formed the Kandy Amateur Football League (KAFL) with the support from the foreign military men and some other keen supports of the sport in Kandy, mainly in the early 1940s.The KAFL subsequently changed its name to Kandy District Football League (KDFL) and also served football in Matale, Nawalapitiya, Gampola, Kurunegala, and Kegalle. As the years rolled by, these towns formed their own leagues.

The KAFL was formed in 1925 and is one of the founder members of the Football governing body. A few years back the controlling body made a big show saying Kandy will get a modern football stadium at Dangolla. The world body FIFA laid the foundation stone and also funded it. Many years have lapsed but nothing has happened and only the foundation stone stands.

In the 1990’s Kandy won the All-Island Senior and Junior League championship for the first time under the presidency of BM Liyanage. 

When they won he was overseas and the acting president was M.H. Marikar with M. Nadaraja as the secretary and Kumala Mohamed as coach. With this win Kandy got a break to tour Nepal. 

It was the first ever Kandy team to go on an overseas tour and that was in the early 1990’s to play in an Asian tournament.

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