Handball team leaves stink behind
[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 September 2004, 00:41 GMT]
German authorities are puzzled by the disappearance of the entire national handball team from Sri Lanka, the BBC reported Wednesday. But as it emerges all 23 members of the delegation have absconded to France via Italy, German officials vow never to invite any more teams from Sri Lanka.
German Sports Exchange Programme organiser, Dietmer Doering, said: "We initially thought the team had got lost in nearby woods while jogging."
But he said a note had been found saying the 23-strong team had gone to France. "We now know they crossed into Italy," Mr Doering said. "They even left their dirty laundry."
Mr Doering told Priyath Liyanage of the BBC Sinhala service the organisers were feeling extremely let down by the incident.
"This will be the last time we will be doing this. I am not planning to invite any more teams from Sri Lanka," he said.
"The entire team of 23 men, including the coach and the manager, has taken off."
The handball team was taking part in a programme in which teams from both countries visited each other for friendly games.
The sports ministry in Sri Lanka said the trip was not authorised.
Handball is a sport very rarely played in Sri Lanka and the formation of a national team was a mystery, according to the ministry spokesman.
The performance of the team had been poor throughout the tournament, the BBC reported.