The 2018 President’s Cup Inter School Invitational Football Tournament, organized by the Group of 80’s of Hameed Al Husseinie College will kick off on the 25th of February at the Racecourse Stadium.
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The main objectives of this tournament, sponsored by Oxford Group, are to grow the sport among school children and the public, training them to adapt and play in bigger grounds and under floodlights, to establish fellowship among participants and to offer an opportunity to the Sri Lanka Schools Football Association and the National team to identify future talents.
After the opening day the group stage matches and the quarter-finals will take place on 26th,27th, 28th February and 1st March. The semi-finals will take place on the 4th of March and the Grand Finale will take place on 11th of March.
The group stage matches and the quarter finals will be played at the City Football Complex while the semi-finals and final will be played at the Racecourse Stadium under floodlights.
Anura De Silva, President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, who was one of the delegates at the press conference held to announce the tournament, praised Hameed Al Husseinie College for the opportunities this tournament provides to school players.
He also went on to say that 2018 will be a busy year for the FFSL as they plan to have two pools of National level teams as well as a Youth National team and a Women’s national pool of players.
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The captains of the participating schools were also given the opportunity to say a few words at the event and Mohamed Ajmal, Captain of Kalutara Muslim Central, spoke on how a tournament like this gives the opportunity to even a third division school, like his, to showcase their talents at a very high level.
For this year’s edition, 20 schools are confirmed to take part with Hameed Al Hussienie being the defending Champions. The participating schools are as follows:
Ananda College – De Mazenod College, Kandana – Hindu College, Colombo – St. Benedict’s College – Al Mubarak Central College, Malwana – Maris Stella College, Negombo – Hameed Al Hussienie College – Lumbini College – Thurstan College – Isipathana College – Zahira College, Gampola – Nalanda College – Muslim Central College, Kaluthara – Zahira College, Colombo – St. Peter’s College – D.S. Senanayake College – Gateway International School, Colombo – Baduriya Central College, Mawanella – T.B. Jaya Zahira College, Colombo – Wesley College.
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St. Patrick’s College Jaffna, S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia, Kinniya Central College Trincomalee and Royal College were mentioned in the team list but are yet to confirm their participation.
The awards on offer at the end of the Tournament are; Most Valuable Player (Player of the Match), Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament (Golden glove), Highest Goal Scorer of the Tournament (Golden boot), Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, Fair Play award.