Greenlight from Health Ministry for Club 7s
By Asanka Gammanpila
Despite domestic rugby being halted for nearly onehalf years due to the pandemic, the Ministry of Health has finally granted their approval for Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) to conduct the inter club sevens on 30 and 31 October.
The Ministry said SLR can organise the 7s tournament according to the health guidelines issued by them. Before Health Ministry approval was granted, SLR also received permission from Director General Sports Amal Edirisuriya to conduct the tournament under a bio bubble. The Department of Sports Development granted approval after 25 players each from eight domestic rugby playing clubs completed their vaccination programme for COVID-19.
In the letter to SLR, Edirisuriya has also advised SLR to consider the tournament as a selection trial to pick the national sevens pool for the 2022 Asian Games. When contacted Rizly Illyas, President SLR, confirmed they had received the green light from the Health Ministry and Director General of Sports. “SLR finally got the approval to restart rugby which was halted for nearly one and half years.
But SLR president said instead of organizing a Club sevens tournament right now SLR has decided to grant permission to conduct an invitational sevens tournament which was planned to be organized by Police Sports Club in consultation with the tri forces - Army SC, Navy SC and Air Force - on the same dates 30-31 October at Police Park.
SLR will also consider this tournament as a selection trial to pick the national sevens pool for the Asian Sevens Championship to be held in Dubai in November. “I believe all playing clubs will give their hundred percent commitment to make this event successful,’’ said Illyas. SLR praised organisers for going ahead with their planned invitational sevens tournament and SLR is now considering organizing an inter club sevens tournament in December.
Apart from Kandy SC and CR, the other six clubs - CH, Havelocks, Police, Army, Navy and Air Force - have confirmed their participation at the invitational tournament.