President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Mr. Joseph S. Blatter yesterday discussed ways Sri Lanka can create more enthusiasm for the sport of football among youth when Mr.Blatter called on the President at Temple Trees.
"Football is becoming more popular in Sri Lanka," President Rajapaksa said. "We should start from the school level."
Mr. Blatter agreed and said introducing the sport to children at a young age will be a very effective strategy. "If you can get in to the schools, that's the right way," Mr. Blatter said.
President Rajapaksa also requested assistance from FIFA to bring down internationally acclaimed players to Sri Lanka and to help Sri Lankan players obtain experience abroad.
In a country where other sports such as cricket and rugby dominate, these measures, the President said, would help elevate the status of the sport as well as its popularity in Sri Lanka, similar to what happened in the field of rugby.
Minister of Sports Mr. Mahindananda Aluthgamage, President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka Mr. Ranjith Rodrigo and several other officials were also present.