Havelock’s cry foul over decision

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Havelock Sports Club cried foul over Sri Lanka Rugby’s (SLR) decision to award the league championship to Kandy Sports Club.

A fortnight ago the SLR Council declared Kandy SC as league champion after the league came to an abrupt halt due to the situation in the country, with two matches remaining to be completed.

Havelock SC Rugby Committee Secretary Roshan Opatha wrote two letters to SLR questioning the decision of awarding the championship to Kandy SC. 

“I have officially written and requested clarity on the clause on how you came up with choosing the winner when there is another team who has a chance to become champion.”

The vital game between unbeaten Kandy and second placed Havelock was forced to be cancelled because of the crisis.

Havelock were in second place five points behind Kandy who had won all their games (8 out of 8) to top the table with 45 points. Havies only defeat was to Kandy in a first-round match and had a chance to topple them in the return game to be played in Colombo at Havelock Park.

In the letter Havies also mentioned, “During the meeting I was told the champions will be decided as per the current standings as given in the rule book. We at Havelocks Sports Club would like to know where it is mentioned in the rule book the President can stop the league when only 10% of the league is left to be completed and give a non-valid reason. We would like to know the clause in the rule book so we are all clear to move forward.”

In the letter, Havelock also indicated they were disappointed over the trust they placed in SLR, which has now been wrecked.

“The 8 ‘A’ Division Clubs have given their best support to Sri Lanka Rugby to kick start rugby in the country adhering to many strict guidelines in the middle of the Covid pandemic, and on top of that, in a challenging financial environment.

“In such a supportive framework we fail to understand with 90% league matches being completed why the balance 10% of the league could not be completed.

“When all other sports are continuing in the country, we see no reason why only Rugby cannot move forward.  For your information, even the Lanka Premier League cricket, which just started, has a bigger audience than rugby, and they too have the same issues.”

When contacted, SLR President Rizly Illyas said it was the majority decision of the SLR Council. “Havelock representative was also there and now they’re telling another story,” Illyas said.   

By Asanka Gammanpila