SLRFU (the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union ) will be taking over the reins and will be in charge of the under 20 Rugby championships after the transgressions committed during the course of the season was put under light. With intentions of putting a halt to amateurish conduct, the Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara has instructed the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) to take charge of the Under-20 Schools League Rugby Championship from the coming season. Minister Jayasekara confirmed this to the media at an official function held at the Colombo Hilton where officials of both SLRFU and Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) were present.
According to Jayasekara, he had come to this conclusion after observing certain incidents, which led a committee appointed by the Minister of Education to hand over bans on Dharmaraja, Trinity and Carey colleges after the culmination of the Singer Schools Under-20 League Rugby Championship.” I have already instructed the President of SLRFU, Asanga Seneviratne to take charge of the Schools League Championship from the coming season. We, as the Ministry of Sports, can support schools but we are not in a position to become decision makers when it comes to certain situations. The verdicts issued post-tournament were very good examples.
That is why I’m keen to see SLRFU taking charge of the Schools tournament, like it or not,” Minister Jayasekara told the media. Dharmaraja, Trinity and Carey received bans of nine months and six months each respectively for misconducts on the field. But Dharmaraja will serve a two-year probation period, during which they could be banned completely from rugby if they violate the rulings or get into any sort of misconducts. Among other decisions taken were the ban of three team officials of Dharmaraja team, including Radhika Hettiarachchi, who headed the coaching unit.
He was banned for life from any team at school level, while the assistant coach and physiotherapist were slapped with bans of six months and one year respectively.The team master-in-charge has got away with a verbal warning.” The punishments are too soft and unfair on certain aspects, I feel. The coach has made an appeal against his ban from coaching. Some have received punishments some got away, and the final verdict is simply not practically done, because they are serving the ban during the off season. So how can you say the ban is practically active when there is no competition going on. Otherwise they should have simply let it go than making such hilarious decisions,” Jayasekara added. He went on to explain that though he is the Minister of Sports, he cannot go and force or influence others on how to do their job.” Had they taken the correct decisions, there wouldn’t be grey areas. People who are impartial and practical-thinking should have done the inquiries and taken decisions, instead of letting something like this take place.” In 2009 a similar situation occurred prompting the SLRFU to take over the Schools League after continuous debacles from the end of SLSRFA.
The competition ended incident-free but the following year SLSRFA regained their major tournament of the calendar.” In 2009 it happened, but due to political interference it lasted just one season. But I will not let that happen again as long as I’m in. I’m confident that the SLRFU can run the tournament in a more professional manner,” the Minister stressed. Earlier on at the event, Seneviratne indicated of a possible take-over of the Schools League by the SLRFU from SLSRFA when he mentioned that the game and country should be the main focus, during his speech at the launch of Sri Lanka Super 7s. “I’m glad to see the Schools Rugby officials here in numbers. We (SLRFU and SLSRFA) have been working on our own ways all this time, whereas we should be working together. Our focus should be the sport and the player and if we work to a plan the country will gain in return. For the first time in history the SLSRFA has agreed to work together with us and we are hoping to come out with positive plans aiming rugby,” he stated.