111 Sri Lankan swimmers and divers have been halted from their trip to India for the 3rd South Asian Aquatic Championship 2019, in an unfortunate turn of events concerning the country’s governing body.
The 3rd South Asian Aquatic Championship 2019 was scheduled to be held from the22nd – 28th of January in Bangalore, India, with 111 of Sri Lanka’s finest competing in Swimming, Open Sea Swim, Water Polo and Diving
However, the governing body of Sri Lanka swimming, Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union’s request of entries of the swimmers have been put on hold by the host nation India (SFI), due to direct orders from the Asian Swimming Federation (AASF).
The reason behind this is that as SLASU is currently operated by an interim committee, the Asian body are unwilling to accept player entries that have not been vetted by an elected body. AASF’s rising concerns on the matter has forced them to put out an indefinite hold on the Sri Lanka’s chances of participation till further assessment.
President of Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union, Mahinda Liyanage voiced his opinion on the matter.
“There has been no official suspension or ban enforced on the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union by FINA, because of the matter. However, AASF has informed the Swimming Federation of India, who is hosting the tournament this year, to reject all entries sent by the interim committee of SLASU till further inquiry.”
*According to reliable sources, the Minister of Sports dissolved the existing board of SLASU till 2019 elections were held and appointed an interim committee to govern the body till then. Unfortunately, FINA and ASA do not recognize interim committees appointed by a political body. As a result, Sri Lanka cannot participate in any event organized by FINA or the ASA until this matter is resolved.