|F.I.F.A. World Cup 2002
Rupavahinis coverage was excellent
On behalf of the soccer fans in Sri Lanka let me thank the Rupavahini Corporation (Channel EYE)., and the sponsors for screening the worlds greatest sporting event namely the F.I.F.A. World Cup series for almost one whole month. This is an event that millions of sports fans in the world eargerly looked forward to once in four years.
The information we had earlier was that there was hardly any suggestion or arrangements taken by any electronic media to cover the event, until the last minute when Manilal Fernando the Vice President of the F.F.S.L., who is also the Chairman of the Sanstha Cement Corporation came forward to sponsor the series in its entirety through the Rupavahini Corporation.
We are also grateful to the Sports Minister Johnston Fernando for his contribution towards making the arrangement a success. I am confidence that all soccer fans living in every nook and corner of the country, enjoyed every minute of play during the series, which displayed soccer giants like Ronaldo, Rivaldino, Cafu of Brazil, Ballack, Khan the goal-keeper from Germany and many more world famous stars with their exciting and glittering performances.
It should also be mentioned that the interest shown by the print media to cover this series was Lukewarm, when compared to their reporting of cricket news. There was only one newspaper which thought it fit to atleast organise a "QUIZ" to cover the event and all praise go to it.
Although soccer is the most hallowed and almost venerated sport the world over,
unfortunately it is not so in S. L. We still give pride of place to cricket, a sport which
is time consuming and heavy expensive. Its way behind the reach of the local village lad.
In comparison soccer is a game in which one needs only a football and it consumes only 90
minutes of time. It is therefore high time that Sri Lanka adopted a more enthusiastic
attitude to promote this poor mans game which needs brawn and brain complete with
team spirits and let us hope that not in the too distant future Sri Lanka could look
forward to at least come reach the 1st round or quarter final state of the next World Cup
in 2006 in Germany. This is a big ask but not beyond our capabilities when comparing the
under dogs Senegal team which entered for the first time in this competition and
surprisingly beat the much fancied last World Cup Champions France in the opening match.
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