Home » If the Minister doesn’t act in good faith, SL Rugby will have the same fate as Football

If the Minister doesn’t act in good faith, SL Rugby will have the same fate as Football

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The Sports Minister tried to show that the Asian ban on Sri Lanka Rugby was due to the fault of the President of Sri Lanka Rugby. The Secretary of the National Sports Council who should assist him with advice instead repeated the story of the minister. But the SLR has always maintained that the cause to these issues is not the chairman’s problem. The gazette with the banning order was issued by former Sports Minister Namal Rajapakse. The Ministry of Sports has not submitted the evidence to the court to remove it according to the order given by the court. The Minister of Sports is now ready to prepare the necessary environment to remove the ban requested by the court. Behind this preparation, it seems that that the personal conflict between the President of the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) and the President of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) is continuing. It is understood that the Minister is ready to put the brakes on the Rugby administration in keeping with the wishes of the ARFU President. What is the purpose of this jeopardizing move because the old plan of SLR’s detractors has proved to be unsubstantiated. This attempt is made to pave the way for the opportunity to overcome personal conflicts which may in-turn see Rugby being destroyed. If the Sports Minister takes rugby to such a pitiful state, the first thing that can happen is that Sri Lankan rugby will fall to the level of Sri Lanka’s football in the International scene. Though the ARFU President acted according to his personal wishes, he was not able to subjugate the international community to meet his personal needs. Sri Lanka has not been banned from World Rugby and we have seen how foreign countries have come to bilateral agreements to raise Sri Lankan rugby during the recent past and how they have been supporting us. Given the present scenario where there is some support of the Sports Ministry to SLR, the officials of the former Rugby administration – who left the SLR with a burden of Rs.55 million – are being earmarked to administrate rugby again. The Minister should leave out Namal and the ARFU President and look in to how the current administration is performing in rugby. So does this mean that the State Sports Officials are working to get rid of the present SLR President who worked without the support of the Sports Ministry and brought many Sponsors to Rugby at a difficult time? The SLR President managed to reduce the mountain of a debt raised by the former Rugby administrators and improve working relationships with potential sponsors and win support internationally. It is the sports minister who should understand the responsibility and duty of a person holding the post of his calibre instead of basking in the glory of the successes coming through sports. If the Sports Minister wants to remove the germs from this game, he can start with rugby itself. Currently, it is clear who is influencing the Minister to dance to the drumbeat of the ARFU president. It was one of our past SLR Presidents Asanga Seneviratne, who publicly mentioned that the vote should be given to the current ARFU chairman an opinion also shared by present SLR President Rizly Illyas. But now what has happened? When Asanga and Lasitha couldn’t take power with the support of the Rugby clubs, they are attempting to attack the current Rugby Federation to gain power. They are opposing Illyas who is a proven sports administratot and a devout Muslim. It’s clear that the ARFU president is currently planning to create a Tsunami for Illyas. Instead of taking rugger to the people of Pulatisipura (Polonnaruwa) who voted for the Minister, he is playing a questionable game. He is using arrogance instead of using his head to promote and support rugby. But if the Minister wants to rewrite the history of rugby, the rugby players must identify those who have done wrong. Sri Lanka has suffered the most serious humiliation in the history of rugby when Seneviratne was the president. That was by using foreign nationals as Sri Lankans at foreign tournaments. The fine imposed for that is still being paid by SLR. Today, Dalai’s proposals to handle Sri Lankan rugby comes through this controversial past SLR President. The Minister is trying to propose other committees to influence Sri Lankan rugby. What’s pointed out by the Rugby fraternity is that the gazette that Namal Rajapakse brought to suspend the registration SLR had with the Sports Ministry was baseless. Now there is only a personal conflict between Rizly Illyas and the ARFU President. If possible, the Sports Minister should answer the question whether the current administration has not administered rugby better than the previous administrations? Hasn’t the present Rugby administration brought down the debts and also made the kitty at SLR fatter? Just consider the fact that a large number of tournaments were conducted by the present administration. They have created new opportunities and brought new teams to the rugger field. Then why this suspension on SLR? This is the question we have been asking the minister from the beginning. If possible, make a decision to not allow the people who were failed sports administrators to be associated with Sri Lanka Rugby in the future. Sudath Chandrasekara, who wrote to Arjuna Ranatunge a few days ago, is the adviser of the Sports Minister. Despite having an adviser in the calibre of Chandrasekara, the Sports Minister is going astray. Sudath should do all within his capacity to advise the Sports Minister to work for the betterment of Rugby in Sri Lanka. The SLR President has always indicated that he would not ask for personal favours or for that matter his rightful place as the Head of a National Sports Body. Meanwhile the ARFU President Dalai, has not been able to obtain international support to get the ban on Sri Lanka approved. SLR stands in front of the independent judicial system of this country to correct this unjustified gazettes and the ban. Also, the Asian Confederation has decided to check to see whether the imposed ban on Rizly Illyas is correct given that there is no charge sheet presented against him. The detractors of SLR are not powerful enough in the International Arena. For that, such people must have the necessary background. There is a law. There is justice. Race, religion and birth do not matter. Thinking on this lines, Sudath Chandrasekara has more exemplary experience than Roshan Ranasinghe.
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