No Signs of Restarting Rugby
By Asanka Gammanpila
Many questions have been raised by the rugby fraternity from Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) and the Ministry of Sports for not showing any signs of re-starting the game, which has been dead for the last one and a half years.
The game was halted since March 2020 due to the pandemic and respective authorities failed to get the sport back on line when even India, which was affected by COVID-19 in the worst possible way, sent a team for the Asia Rugby Under-18 Girls sevens Tournament held over the weekend in Uzbekistan, where they finished runner-up.
SL Rugby has a rich history of over 147 years, but they did not have the ability to restart the game, whereas India with a shorter history and not even having a proper schools rugby system, took part in an international tournament, which has disappointed the entire rugby fraternity. The Ministry of Sports also has a responsibility to support SLR to restart the game, which has affected local rugby players in so many ways.
Sri Lanka Rugby is in deep trouble after the HighPerformance Committee of the Sports Ministry rejected the national sevens pool selected by the National Selection Committee to commence training ahead of the Asian Sevens Series to be held in Dubai on 19 and 20 November.
This time around Sri Lanka has a chance to qualify for the World Sevens Series next year after both Asian champions Japan and other top contender Hong Kong are most likely to pull out from the competition. Sri Lanka last qualified for the World Sevens series in 2012 after ending up third overall in the Asian Sevens Series standings in 2011. Approval from the High Performance Committee and Health Ministry is vital for SLR to recommence rugby due to the situation in the country.