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DateLine Sunday, 18 May 2008

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MFA will organise more tourneys to keep membership occupied

FOOTBALL: The Mercantile Football Association (MFA) - one of the oldest controlling bodies for soccer, founded in 1918, and now 90 years old, will organise more tournaments, Beach soccer tournament, an over 40 tournaments, a annual tournament for ladies and will also hold coaching camp for soccer referees, said A. Milton Fernando who was elected as the new President of Mercantile Football Association at the annual general meeting held recently.

Fernando said that in addition to the normal annual tournaments, three new tournaments will be worked off from this year. “We have affiliated membership around 50 companies comprising well established financial, insurance, shipping, telecom, leisure, and manufacturing sectors.

The MFP holds the annual general meeting as stipulated by the Sports Law in the country and the speciality is that every year membership is elected unanimously. The MFA is affiliated to the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.

Annually, the MFA conducts three tournaments - league, knock-out and the Sevens. Since of late, we had four divisions in the league tournament as ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’. Due to the popularity of the game in the mercantile sector, many companies showed a keen interest in taking part in the MFA tournaments.

As a result we were compelled to add more divisions to accommodate the new teams and we introduced ‘E’ and ‘F’ division tourneys. There are well over 100 matches played in the league” said Fernando.

The ‘A’ division tournament is very competitive because most of the national players are representing their respective employers.

The MFA is proud that the majority of the Mercantile Football Association players are represented at national level, said Fernando. The knock-out tournament comprises ‘A’ and ‘B’ divisions and 16 to 20 matches are on the cards with two semis and the final.

The seven-a-side tournament is very popular and teams play in eight groups and around 52 matches are played in a day. This year the sevens were played for the Cup and Plate as to make more winning opportunities for the teams. Other than the trophies, gold and silver medals are awarded and cash prizes are also awarded to the winners and runners-up.

There are awards for the Best player and Best Goal-keeper.

Milton Fernando - the President of MFA said that they have a problem lack of a ground.

The MFA is looking for a suitable ground and if they are successful, the Football Federation of Sri Lanka has promised to assist us to modernise the ground to international standards, said Fernando.

The MFA are grateful to Manilal Fernando and the Management of FFSL who have helped them many ways to develop the game in the Mercantile Sector, said Fernando.

 

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