Ranatunga, Susanthika, football head and Minister drop heavy bombshells on votes, corruption and the Awards syndrome | Sunday Observer

Ranatunga, Susanthika, football head and Minister drop heavy bombshells on votes, corruption and the Awards syndrome

12 February, 2023

Former Sri Lanka World Cup winning cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga, Olympic Silver medallist and sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe, Sri Lanka Football elected president S. Ranga and Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe dropped bombshells on corruption, voting at sports and the questionable Awards Syndrome that has engulfed the country in hysterical proportions.

The foursome made their rousing remarks at sports functions held in Badulla and Trincomalee.

Cricket is under fire over alleged widespread corruption, a highly disputed voting system and law-breaking player behaviour at the recent T20 World Cup in Australia while the country’s football team stands banned from the international scene over its failure to fall in line with the world governing body of the sport FIFA.

“When there is corruption in sports and there is a call for change, there is a campaign to oust the sports minister. To change this I need your support,” Minister Ranasinghe told his audience in Badulla.

But Ranatunga addressing a meeting in Trincomalee read out a different kind of scorecard declaring: “England has 41 cricket votes, Australia 6, South Africa 26, Pakistan 18, India 38 with 1.4 billion people and in Sri Lanka 22 million people with 147 votes. In this country (Sri Lanka) whatever we do we are on top”.

Ranatunga’s remarks highlighted a controversial voting system at Sri Lanka Cricket that outsiders claim is the cause of mismanagement at one of the country’s richest public institutions.

Elected football president S. Ranga who was red-carded by FIFA even before he could take his coveted chair last month set off another kind of outburst. “If you take the (football) Federation there are more rogues than the 225. I never thought there are so many there (in football). There is auditing at what happens in Parliament and Ministries, but in football we are internationally affiliated and receive 4 billion dollars (a year). What has happened to this money,” said Ranga.

Sri Lanka’s only Olympic medallist in 74 years almost went down on her knees many years after she hung up he shoes and pleaded over her failure to receive what is called a Presidential Award while the country is awash with numerous award ceremonies that outweigh achievements.

“I won four world medals and waited for an award that I never got and take the way these Presidential awards are done. Why are you doing this Sir. I carried 400-pound weights and sacks of rice to train and my legs almost gave way”, Jayasinghe said while giving officials a bellyful.