- Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 03:54
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Cargills Food City has kicked-off a new era in national football with its latest partnership with Sri Lankan edition of the FA Cup, a longstanding tradition of the game.
The Football Association Cup commonly known as FA Cup first initiated in 1871 in England, is a Knock-Out competition which is normally conducted by each National Football Association and is appropriately named after it – hence the title FA. The FA cup is unique for football clubs as it involves clubs of all standards playing against each other where the possibility for the minnows from the lower divisions to become giant killers by eliminating top ranked clubs from the tournament and even win the prestigious FA cup.
The CARGILLS FOOD CITY FA Cup 2013 heralds the dawn of a new era. The support has attracted 173 teams from all over the island which will translate into 172 matches in over 100 venues across the country. There will be over 15,000 minutes of exciting football played during this tournament with over 4000 FFSL registered Players and about 150 Match officials participating in the CARGILLS FOOD CITY FA CUP 2013,
Most interestingly the CARGILLS FOOD CITY team that hails from every corner of the island would be part of the national football action with a host of promotions and activations tied to the event. Sidath Kodikara, Chief Executive Officer of Cargills Foods Company (Pvt) Ltd said the tie up was a part of a long term strategy of the Group to support the empowerment of youth through sports. “Football is a game that touches ordinary people in extraordinary ways. In that sense the game’s spirit is aligned to Cargills Food City and our own philosophy of making an impact on the lives of ordinary Sri Lankans. “
Kodikara added that Cargills has been synonymous with youth development and the Group has in the recent past put its strength behind several national sporting events. “Through our relationship with the Football Federation of Sri Lanka and FA Cup we would strive to build a new generation of outstanding Football players. We believe the game has a long way to go in Sri Lanka but it cannot reach its full potential unless the Football Association is able to rally the Country and specially the youth around it. The success of games such as cricket and rugby has been how attractive the game is to young people in terms of the glamour and the prestige attached. This is a journey that Cargills has committed to partner in the long term, to help bring national football to the forefront,” he said.
The defending champions of FA Cup are Sri Lanka Navy who will once again face the glamorous boys of Sri Lankan football Saunders from Gunasinghepura who has have won the FA CUP over 20 times. Other major challengers are the Kotahena Clubs, Ratnams (6 times winners) and Renown (5 - times winners) who have recorded most number of wins as an outstation club. St. Anthony’s from Trincomalee have won in the 70’s.
The Chairman of FFSL Marketing, Mr. Trevor Reckerman endorsed the sentiments expressed by CARGILLS in this latest venture. It intends to work closely with its new partner to build a new national transformation of the Football spirit and take it to all corners of the island over the next 03 years. The FA CUP 2013 will be bigger and bolder and designed to bring the fans back to the game they love so much. “Exciting days are ahead” he said, promising that the organization of the event will reach new heights!
CARGILLS FOOD CITY is offering a brand new trophy for this year’s championship modeled on the English FA CUP along with handsome cash prizes as well wards such as the popular Golden Ball & Golden Boot and the Fair Play Trophy
The first ever Ceylon FA Cup was played in 1949. Saunders created history by beating Police by 1-0 in this first ever encounter. The Saunders & Sri Lankan legend P.D. Sirisena who is referred to as Sri Lanka’s Pele holds the record of being the player who has scored the most number of goals in one season with 24 goals to his credit. He also holds the record as the highest goal scorer in the final with 6 goals against his name against the Wellawatte Spinning & Weaving Mills Club in 19960. Both these records are unbroken for over 50 years.