AFC & FIFA have accepted our security plans to play – FFSL

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualification

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MACAU REFRAIN SRI LANKA TRAVEL
Football Federation of Sri Lanka responds to Macau’s decision to not travel to Sri Lanka

The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) stated that the 2nd leg of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 against Macau will not be moved to a neutral venue.

Macau refrains from traveling to Sri Lanka

Macau Football Association (MFA) has decided not to send their National Team…

This was expressed in a media release in response to Macau Football Association’s (MFA) decision to not travel to Sri Lanka for the 2nd leg. Macau won the 1st leg on 6th June in Zhuhai 1-0, through a 2nd half goal from Filipe Duarte.

“It is of paramount importance for any national team to play in their home soil in front of home fans and especially in FIFA Official Qualifiers which falls only in every four [sic] years.

We have fulfilled all security requirements and AFC and FIFA has accepted our security plans to play the said game. … there has been no official refusal received from Macau or AFC has not yet informed about the decision of Macau team,” the media release stated.

Macau FA in a letter to FFSL, AFC & FIFA a few weeks back were concerned about the security situation in Sri Lanka after the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. However, FFSL further stated that maximum security would be provided for Macau.

“General Secretary also stated that FFSL along with government authorities have made extraordinary security arrangements for the visiting Macau team with Army, Police and Ministerial Security personal around the clock. An AFC Security officer has already arrived in Sri Lanka and other Match Officials will start arriving at the venue as scheduled.”

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FFSL will continue with the match preparations and should Macau fail to arrive in Sri Lanka the decision will lie with the AFC, the media release goes onto to say.

“So far Macau has made a request to FFSL in return FFSL has responded that the match will be played as per scheduled in Sri Lanka. The official Match Coordination Meeting is scheduled on Monday 10th at 10.00am at Galadari, should the Macau team fail to report, then AFC will make an official decision.

FFSL will make an official announcement on Tuesday after hearing from AFC until such time the arrangements will go ahead as planned.

If the Macau team fails to report to the game, it shall be awarded to Sri Lanka according to the regulations and Sri Lanka may advance to the group stage, sources suggested.”

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The Complete Media Release by the FFSL can be seen below;

Macau FA has written to General Secretary of FFSL with a copy to AFC and FIFA to consider playing the second leg of the World Cup Qualifier game in a neutral venue outside Sri Lanka, citing security concerns for the team.

FFSL General Secretary after consulting his President responded to Macau FA.

“It is paramount important for any national team to play in their home soil in front of home fans and specially in FIFA Official Qualifiers which falls only in every four years. We have fulfilled all security requirements and AFC and FIFA has accepted our security plans to play the said game.

Furthermore, Sri Lanka is now a safer county to travel and all governments have relaxed travel advisories including China, under which Macau falls as administrative unit.

Many special dignitaries including Indian Prime Minster is also visiting Sri Lanka during this week end and there is no question of any security threats.

Terrorist have attacked many developed counties in the past and this does not affect carrying out the affairs of any sport.

Sri Lanka shall enjoy it’s right to host the home game in Sri Lanka and every county shall respect each other’s right to host similar games.”

General Secretary also stated that FFSL along with government authorities have made extraordinary security arrangements for the visiting Macau team with Army, Police and Ministerial Security personal round the clock.

An AFC Security officer has already arrived in Sri Lanka and other Match officials have started arriving to the venue as scheduled.

FFSL remain positive to host this game and is ready to provide extraordinary support to the Macau team. He also said that “we are still hoping that Macau team will come to our lovely county and looking forward to receive them at any time.”   

Sources said that match arrangements are still going on as scheduled since no official refusal from Macau has been received or AFC has not yet informed about the decision of Macau team.

So far Macau has made a request to FFSL in return FFSL has responded that the match will be played as per schedule in Sri Lanka.

The official Match Coordination Meeting is scheduled on Monday 10th at 10.00 am at Galadari, should the Macau team fail to report, then AFC will make an official decision.

FFSL will make an official announcement on Tuesday after hearing from AFC until such time the arrangements will go ahead as planned.

If the Macau fails to report to the game, it shall be awarded to Sri Lanka according to the regulations and Sri Lanka may advance to the group stage, sources suggested.