The Colombo Veterans FC won the Goodwill Soccer Festival in the International Masters’ Football Tournament in Dubai.
The tournament was held at the Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club, Dubai from the 1st to the 3rd of December, comprising of 8 international teams; India, South Africa, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius.
This is the fourth time Colombo Veterans have won an International Masters Football tournament. They were champions at the inaugural tournament held in Singapore in 2006 and were joint champions with Singapore in 2008. They also won the trophy in 2011. Apart from this they were runner-up in 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
The eight – nation Goodwill Soccer Festival tournament was conducted on a league basis and Colombo Veterans had the best results earning 16 points to win the championship.
Colombo Veterans beat Malaysia 6-2, Singapore 4-0, India 2-0, South Africa 2-0 and Mauritius 3-0.
They drew Italy 0-0 and unfortunately lost to UAE 1-0.
Sri Lanka beat Mauritius in their final game to claim the title, while Italy emerged as the runners up. The hosts UAE finished as the 2nd runners up to round off the top three spots.
Noteworthy, a huge turnout of Sri Lanka fans had gathered during the course of the tournament to show their support which the victorious Colombo team appreciated greatly.
The Colombo Veterans which featured many former Sri Lankan national players were funded by the City League President and former Vice President of the Federation of Sri Lanka Ramanathan Puvanenthiran. He is also the founder and President of Colombo Veterans Football Club.
The Colombo Veterans were skippered by former Saunders and Sri Lanka cap Priyantha Liyanage.
The Colombo Veterans squad comprised of Priyantha Liyanage (C), R. Puwanenthran, Priyantha Perera, Mohomed Roomy, Anura Sampath, Maxi Leterns, Krishantha Abeysekara, Mohomed Fazal, Dammika Athukorala, Anton Silva, Jagath Rohan, Bandara Gunathilaka, Hanif Luqmaan, Nishantha Kumara, Joseph Shanthi Kumar, Jayashantha Liyanage, Sampath Perera, Young Park, Thuan Azarudin, Mohomed Imthiyaz, Karuppiramar, Mohomed Ishamudeen, Feroz Inam (Manager), Mohomed Faiz (Coach).