Asia Rugby Sevens 2022 – Can Sri Lanka Rugby Play?
As the Asia Rugby and Sri Lanka Rugby tensions roll over for another month, will the SLR be allowed to compete at the Asia Rugby Sevens Series 2022 which gets underway in Bangkok, Thailand from October 22-23 2022?
Sri Lanka Rugby and Asia Rugby Conflict 2022
Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) and Asia Rugby have been embroiled in a bitter battle for several months (starting in April 2022) regarding the leadership of the Union among other allegations connected to acting SLR President Rizly Illyas.
- The Asia Rugby EXCO & President Qais Al-Dhalai suspended Sri Lanka Rugby on the 9th of April 2022 citing political interference after the former Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa suspended Sri Lanka Rugby in a purported manner by issuing a Gazette Notification on the 1st of April 2022.
- Two days later the Minister of Sports Rajapaksa was removed from his Cabinet Ministerial portfolio due to the current prevailing socio-economic and political crisis in the country.
- Sri Lanka Rugby went to the Court of Appeal in Sri Lanka to have the Gazette Notification set aside and was provided permission to carry on running the affairs of Sri Lanka Rugby.
However, SLR has since then continued its operations domestically, run training courses, entered into teams at the Commonwealth Games, signed an MoU with Georgia Rugby, and continues to sign sponsors and appointed new members to the SLR Board – in September 2022 Mahesh Senanayake was appointed to the Post of Director Commercial and Marlon Dale Ferreira to the Post of Director Media of SLR.
Asia Rugby on the other hand (who we think have also handled this poorly from a PR point of view but the SLR President also could have done better in the public eye) previously said they wanted the judicial officer to request a new date for the hearing of September 3, 2022 but there was no update provided.
Rugby Asia 247 has also been informed that SLR’s CEO Hamza Hidayathullahhad made a request to the acting CEO of Asia Rugby Ben Van Rooyen to seek an invitation for SLR to compete in the Asian Sevens Tournament on the 22nd and 23rd of October 2022 but received a negative response.
The poster from Thailand Rugby promoting the ARSS 2022 from the Thailand Rugby Union excludes Sri Lanka Rugby from the participating teams.
Can Sri Lanka Rugby Play at the Asia Rugby Sevens 2022?
Last week, Asia Rugby (AR) President, Qais Al Dhalai hosted Mr. Roshan Ranasighe, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs of Sri Lanka at the Asia Rugby offices in Dubai to discuss matters relating to the suspended Sri Lanka Rugby said the governing body.
The main discussion point was to allow Sri Lanka Rugby National Teams to take part in Asia Rugby tournaments and a request has been forward to the Aisa Rugby Executive Committee based on the request from the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.
Editors note – We have been informed that the Olympic Council of Asia Executive Committee at a meeting held recently in Cambodia, warned the AR to resolve the matter.
The Sunday Observer reports that “Sri Lanka Rugby appears to be in a state of limbo both at home and overseas following the suspension slapped by Asia Rugby on the governing body for the sport Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) and consequently its president Rizly Illyas” and that the SLR participation in the Asia Rugby Sevens Series (which starts in Bangkok on October 22) is yet to be resolved.
AR added that Asia Rugby president Qais Abdulla Al Dhalai stated that the Sri Lanka issue would be clarified at a media conference in the first week of October – that date has come and gone and no clarity – and it looks like we now wait for a decision by the Asia Rugby EXCO in what is a hugely confusing and embarrassing situation for rugby in Asia.
(Editors note – On October 10 2022, the SLR has a court date with the Sri Lanka Ministry to revoke the suspension of SLR. There seems to be a lot of political meandering from AR and SLR in this regard but for SLR to play rugby at the national level is the optimal outcome for the union.)
Asian Rugby Sevens News
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- Osea Kolinisau To Forge a Winning China Women’s Sevens Team.
- 2022 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens – Everything You Need To Know.