Sri Lanka national football team

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Sri Lanka
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Lankan Lions
Association Football Federation of Sri Lanka
Sub-confederation SAFF (South Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Nikola Kavazović
Captain C.Sanjeewa
Top scorer Kasun Jayasuriya (27)
Home stadium Sugathadasa Stadium
FIFA code SRI
FIFA ranking 186 Decrease 12 (9 April 2015)
Highest FIFA ranking 122 (19 August 1998)
Lowest FIFA ranking 193 (14 February 2013)
Elo ranking 213 Steady (19 April 2015)
Highest Elo ranking 165 (26 July 1972)
Lowest Elo ranking 213 (17 March 2015)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Ceylon 0–2 India 
(Colombo, Ceylon; 1 January 1952)
Biggest win
 Sri Lanka 7–1 Pakistan 
(Taipei, Taiwan; 4 April 2008)
 Sri Lanka 6–0 Bhutan 
(Dhaka, Bangladesh; 6 December 2009)
Biggest defeat
 Ceylon 1–12 East Germany 
(Colombo, Ceylon; 8 January 1964)

The Sri Lanka national football team represents Sri Lanka in association football and is controlled by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, the governing body for football in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's home grounds are Sugathadasa Stadium and Kalutara Stadium. Sri Lankan team was known as the Ceylon national football team until 1972, when Ceylon was renamed Sri Lanka.[1]

A member of the AFC, the team has yet to make their first appearance in FIFA World Cup or AFC Asian Cup finals. They have been South Asian champions once, in 1995. As is true elsewhere on the sub-continent, top-level football in Sri Lanka stands somewhat in the shadow of the country's test cricket team. However, the side did reach the second qualification stage for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In the same year they became the Runners Up in AFC Challenge Cup 2006.

In 2014 at the 75th Anniversary of FFSL FIFA President Sepp Blatter visited Sri Lanka and opened a new football stadium in Jaffna. During the visit Blatter said he was not pleased with the development of Football in Sri Lanka and that the authorities haven't taken enough steps to lift up football on the island. The AFC President Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Kalifa also joined the visit.[2]

In The Qualification Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Sri Lanka lost both matches against Bhutan.This was the first time that Sri Lanka lost a game against Bhutan. Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the next round.

History[edit]

Early History[edit]

Football was introduced to Sri Lanka by the British when Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, was a colony of the British Empire. There is evidence of the game being played in the sprawling sandy stretches familiarly termed as Galle Face, by bare chested British Servicemen stationed in and around Colombo in the 1890s. The service barracks grounds at Echelon Square where the Galadari Meridian Hotel stands and the Army grounds (presently the Taj Samudra Hotels) were the popular football fields in the game's formative years.

British service units such as Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery and the Royal Garrison Command were the pioneers who promoted competitive football in this country. The British administrative service and the British planting community took the sport to the Central, Southern, and Up-Country regions with the equal zest and fervor. By early 1900 football as a competitive sport, was popular amongst the local youth. Though playing bare feet, the native players had mastered the skills of the game, and in fact, donned the Services Jerseys as replacements or reserves in many an exclusively white dominated team.

The game grew popular leading to the formation of local football clubs. Some of the first clubs in Colombo were St. Michael's SC, Havelock's Football Club, Java Lane SC, Wekande SC, Moors FC and CH & FC, the last being exclusively a European monopoly. Harequins FC and Saunders SC soon joined. The trophies of the principal tournaments of that era were the De Mel Shield and the Times of Ceylon Cup. Southern Provence - the sport had a fair impact on the masses, with the planting and administrative community leading the promotion of the game in a big way. T R. Brough a British planter in Deniyaya contributed much to the game in the South between 1910-1920. The British Servicemen from the Navy wireless station in Matara also helped to popularize the sport.[3]

1995 SAFF Championship[edit]

This was the second SAFF Championship Tournament which was named as 1995 South Asian Gold Cup. The five countries participating in this tournament were India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. Sri Lanka was the host of the South Asian Gold Cup for the first time.

Sri Lanka was placed in the Group B with India. The match between Sri Lanka and India ended with a 2-2 draw. Mohamed Amanulla scored both goals for Sri Lanka, the second goal due to a penalty. Sri Lanka qualified for the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals Sri Lanka played against Nepal. Sri Lanka beat Nepal 2-1 in extra time to qualify for the finals. The Final was held between Sri Lanka and India. Sri Lanka beat India 1-0 and won their first championship title in football. Sarath Wellage scored the winning goal in the 108th minute.

2006 AFC Challenge Cup[edit]

This was the first AFC Challenge Cup tournament that was held by the Asian Football Confederation. This tournament acted as a qualification for the AFC Asian Cup and was held in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka became the Runner Up in the 2006 AFC Challenge Cup after losing the final against Tajikistan with 4-0. Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup but received the fair play award.

2015 Bangabandhu Gold Cup[edit]

Sri Lanka played for the first time in the Bangabandhu Cup. This tournament was organized by Bangladesh Football Federation. The national U-23 TEAMS of Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia and Singapore participated in this tournament. The national football teams of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also competed in this tournament.

Sri Lanka was placed in the group with Malaysia and Bangladesh. In the first game Sri Lanka played against the Malaysian team. Malaysia won the match by 2-0. The second match was played against the host Bangladesh. Sri Lanka lost the game 1-0. Sri Lanka failed to score a goal in this tournament.

Competitive Record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

World Cup finals World Cup qualifications
Hosts/Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA GP W D* L GS GA
1930 to 1990 Did Not Enter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
United States 1994 - - - - - - - - 8 0 0 8 0 26
France 1998 - - - - - - - - 3 1 1 1 4 4
South KoreaJapan 2002 - - - - - - - - 6 1 1 4 8 20
Germany 2006 - - - - - - - - 8 1 3 4 7 11
South Africa 2010 - - - - - - - - 2 0 0 2 0 6
Brazil 2014 - - - - - - - - 2 0 1 1 1 5
Russia 2018 - - - - - - - - 2 0 0 2 1 3
Qatar 2022 TBD - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 0/21 - - - - - - - 31 3 6 22 21 75

AFC Asian Cup[edit]

Asian Cup finals Asian Cup qualifications
Hosts/Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA GP W D* L GS GA
1956 to 1992 Did Not Enter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
United Arab Emirates 1996 - - - - - - - - 6 2 0 4 5 25
Lebanon 2000 - - - - - - - - 4 0 0 4 2 18
China 2004 - - - - - - - - 8 2 0 6 6 26
IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandVietnam 2007 Did Not Enter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Qatar 2011 - - - - - - - - 12 5 2 5 28 24
Australia 2015 - - - - - - - - 6 1 1 4 5 10
United Arab Emirates 2019 - - - - - - - - 2 0 0 2 1 3
Total 0/17 - - - - - - - 37 10 3 24 41 109

SAFF Championship[edit]

Hosts/Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA
Pakistan 1993 Runners-up 2/4 3 1 1 1 4 2
Sri Lanka 1995 Champions 1/6 3 2 1 0 5 3
Nepal 1997 Semi-Finals 4/6 4 2 0 2 6 3
India 1999 Group Stage 5/6 2 0 1 1 2 3
Bangladesh 2003 Group Stage 5/8 3 1 1 1 3 3
Pakistan 2005 Group Stage 7/8 3 0 0 3 1 5
MaldivesSri Lanka 2008 Semi-Finals 3/4 4 2 1 1 5 3
Bangladesh 2009 Semi-Finals 4/8 4 2 0 2 9 7
India 2011 Group Stage 6/8 3 1 0 2 4 6
Nepal 2013 Group Stage 7/8 3 1 0 2 6 15
India 2015 TBD - - - - - - -

AFC Challenge Cup[edit]

AFC Challenge Cup finals AFC Challenge Cup qualifications
Hosts/Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA GP W D* L GS GA
Bangladesh 2006 Runners-up 2/16 6 4 1 2 7 2 - - - - - -
India 2008 Group Stage 7/8 3 0 0 3 1 9 3 2 1 0 14 4
Sri Lanka 2010 Group Stage 5/8 3 1 0 2 4 7 3 2 1 0 9 4
Nepal 2012 - - - - - - - - 3 0 1 2 0 5
Maldives 2014 - - - - - - - - 3 1 0 2 1 5
Total 3/5 - 12 5 1 7 12 18 12 5 3 4 24 18
  • In 2011 and 2015 The AFC Challenge Cup acted as the qualification for the Asian Cup.
  • AFC Challenge Cup has been cancelled by AFC.

Fixtures and Results[edit]

2015[edit]

      Win       Draw       Lose

Home Stadiums[edit]

Sugathadasa Stadium

Sugathadasa Stadium is the former athletic stadium in Sri Lanka. It was established in 1972 and has a capacity of 28,000.[4] The stadium is mostly used for athletics and football. The 1995 SAFF Championship was held in this stadium.

Team Records[edit]

Kit[edit]

The traditional national team's home kit has mostly been maroon shirts and maroon shorts, but blue colours have also been used. The colours are derived from the 15th century flag of Kingdom of Kandy. The away shirt colour has changed several times. The Sri Lankan team used white shirt with white shorts or black shirt with black shorts. Historically, white shirt with white shorts is the most often used colour combination. The kits are currently manufactured by Adidas.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 18 players played in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) matches.[5]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Dasun Paranavithana (1991-11-10) November 10, 1991 (age 23) 4 0 Sri Lanka UP Country Lions
25 1GK Weerasinghe Sujan (1992-07-18) July 18, 1992 (age 22) 5 0 Sri Lanka Kalutara Park
22 1GK Imran Mohamed (1990-02-11) February 11, 1990 (age 25) 3 0 Sri Lanka Renown SC
3 2DF Asikumar Rahuman (1993-12-31) December 31, 1993 (age 21) 4 0 Sri Lanka Pelicans SC
17 2DF Thilina Bandara (1985-08-16) August 16, 1985 (age 29) 4 0 Sri Lanka Solid SC
23 2DF Tharindu Eranga (1991-05-30) May 30, 1991 (age 23) 4 0 Sri Lanka Navy
6 2DF Mohamed Hakeem (1992-09-15) September 15, 1992 (age 22) 3 0 Sri Lanka Renown SC
2 2DF Charitha Rathnayaka (1992-12-26) December 26, 1992 (age 22) 3 0 Sri Lanka Pelicans
15 2DF Subash Madushan (1990-05-31) May 31, 1990 (age 24) 4 0 Sri Lanka Navy
14 3MF Mohamed Rifnas (1995-01-09) January 9, 1995 (age 20) 3 1 Sri Lanka Renown
16 3MF Hashan Chandrarathna (1993-06-14) June 14, 1993 (age 21) 3 0 Sri Lanka Up Country Lions
10 3MF Chathuranga Sanjeewa (C) (1991-07-06) July 6, 1991 (age 23) 5 0 Sri Lanka Navy
13 3MF Kavindu Ishan (1992-10-17) October 17, 1992 (age 22) 3 0 Sri Lanka Air Force
20 3MF Sajith Kumara (1993-01-29) January 29, 1993 (age 22) 5 0 Sri Lanka Renown
05 3MF Zarwan Johar (1996-02-15) February 15, 1996 (age 19) 5 2 Sri Lanka Java Lane
7 3MF Madushan de Silva (1993-11-16) November 16, 1993 (age 21) 5 0 Sri Lanka Army
19 3MF Nalaka Roshan (1989-03-31) March 31, 1989 (age 26) 3 1 Sri Lanka
11 4FW Nipuna Bandara (1991-06-17) June 17, 1991 (age 23) 7 2 Sri Lanka Don Bosco
8 4FW Shanmugaraja (1986-03-09) March 9, 1986 (age 29) 4 0 Sri Lanka Renown
9 4FW Mohamed Fazal (1990-04-30) April 30, 1990 (age 24) 4 0 Sri Lanka Renown

Records[edit]

Top Goalscorers[6]
# Player Goals Career
1. Kasun Jayasuriya
27
2000–2009
2. Channa Ediri Bandanage
20
1999–2012
3. Vivek Sunderalingam
16
199?–2001

Coaches[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1993 India 
South Asian Champions
1995 (First title)
Succeeded by
1997 India