The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) announced a pool of 31 players in preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 & AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 against Macau, which will be played on the 6th and 11th June 2019.
31 player Sri Lanka Pool for World Cup Qualifiers
The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) announced..
Wholesale changes were made by the FFSL in naming the 31-member pool who will travel to Qatar to prepare for the upcoming friendlies against Laos and the 2 qualifiers against Macau.
A 20-member squad took part in the recent SAFF Championship which was held in September 2018 out of which only 9 players have been retained.
The nine are Kavindu Ishan, Harsha Fernando, Sujan Perera, Charitha Rathnayake, Mohamed Fazal, Duckson Piuslas, Sasanka Dilhara, Mariyathas Nitharshan and Jude Suman who have all been excellent in the Dialog Champions League and FA Cup 2018 for their respective clubs.
Three players left out Mohamed Rifnaz, Afeel Mohamed and Asela Madushan are nursing long term injuries.
The most notable omission is the skipper of the last 5 international matches Subash Madushan. Questions were raised to the team management on his lack of fitness as he failed to last the 90 minutes of games quite consistently, thus the omission was inevitable.
Other notable absentees include Zarwan Johar, Kaveesh Fernando, Danushka Rajapaksha, Asikur Rahuman, Bandara Warakagoda, Sajith Kumara and Dilan Kaushalya, all of whom have played the entire season of the Dialog Champions League 2018 for their clubs.
Sajith Kumara and Dilan Kaushalya were carrying ankle injuries throughout the season. The other exclusion from the pool could possibly be due to poor fitness level and form.
Several of the players who have performed commendably well during the recent season and who were part of the U23 squad have missed out on selection.
Namely Niran Kanishka, Chamod Dilshan, Mohamed Asmeer, Danushka Madushanka, Chathuranga Sanjeewa, Mahendran Dinesh, Danusha Perera, Aman Faizer, Dananjaya Lakshan and Rifkhan Mohamed.
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A total 22 new players have been called up to the pool including 4 from the U23 team who took part in the recent 2020 AFC U23 Championship Qualifiers. Shabeer Razooniya, Rasik Rishad, Pathum Vimukthi and Sundaraj Niresh.
The pool comprises of 7 players who have not played in the Champions League, Mohamed Musthaq (New Star), Mohamed Ijaz & Mohamed Waseeth (Army), Abdul Rahuman Issadeen (Prison), Sidathurai Sahayaraja Ruche (St. Lucia’s), Sebasthiyampillai Jesuthasan (Air Force) and Hamilton Marvin representing Eastbourne Borough FC in England.
Players who were omitted from the AFC U23 Qualifiers squad have been given call ups. Several questions were raised on their omission from the U23 team. The players in question were Dilip Pieris, Naveen Jude and Mohamed Aakib, all of whom proved their proficiency in front of goal during the past season.
Mohamed Shaheel (Sea Hawks) and Mohamed Luthfi looks good inclusions based on recent performances, the latter being the winner of the Golden Glove award in both the FA Cup and DCL for 2018.
However, questions will be raised as to the inclusion of players who have no experience against above players who have performed well and have been part of the recent squads.
The 31-member pool will be in Doha, Qatar from 12th to 25th May. Of which 26 will then make their way to Laos to play 2 friendlies on the 28th and 31st May. The final 23-man squad will travel to Macau to play the World Cup Qualifier on 6th June.
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