‘What happened to the money?’ – COPE questions Football Federation on overseas funds

‘What happened to the money?’ – COPE questions Football Federation on overseas funds

Written by Zulfick Farzan

05 Aug, 2021 | 12:36 am

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Committee on Public Enterprises slammed the Football Federation of Sri Lanka ( Football Sri Lanka)  for its delay in disclosing payment to the Chairman of Elections and two other members.

It was revealed at the COPE session that the Chairman of Elections for the FSL was awarded Rs. 750,000/- at the last election while the two other members were awarded Rs. 600,000/- each.

COPE Chairman & Member of Parliament (Professor) Charitha Herath ruled that it was very suspicious of FSL personnel declaring that such a sum was paid at the COPE session on 03rd August, while denying any knowledge of the payment at the COPE session on the 22nd of April 2021.

Sports Secretary Anuradha Wijekoon was instructed by COPE to immediately conduct an internal investigation over the matter and report back to COPE within two weeks.

Further COPE was concerned over the misappropriation of funds by the Ex-Chairman of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka Manilal Fernando.

“The previous administration had made an audit observation that 40,400 euros (Rs. 6,287,670) donated by the Italian Footballers’ Association for the construction of the Kalutara Football Stadium and $ 60,000 (Rs. 6,415,290) provided by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to host matches, was misappropriated,” highlighted the COPE Chairman.

In addition, another Rs. 10 Million by a private firm to construct houses for those affected by the Tsunami and $ 200,0000 donated by the AFC had also been misappropriated by the Ex-Chairman of the FFSL, COPE noted.

Officers from the Football Federation of Sri Lanka informed COPE that the Attorney General had informed the FCID to withdraw the complaint.

However, Professor Charitha Herath pointed out that the Attorney General had mentioned there wasn’t sufficient evidence to process a case and emphasized that the information should come from the FSL.

“If a person from the FSL supports the misappropriation of funds, then he would not provide information to be processed,” he noted.

The Auditor-General speaking at the COPE meeting noted that money had been deposited to a certain account and that it was found the money was also used for expenses.

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