The national women’s rugby team was supposed to travel today (18) ahead of Asia development sevens tournament in Chennai, India.
However, the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has informed the Sri Lanka Rugby Footbal Union (SLRFU) on Wednesday afternoon not to take part due to the security reasons..
This was addressed by Mr. Asanga Senavirathne the President of SLRFU at the team dinner held last night at the Colombo Swimming Club which was organized by the proud sponsors South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT).
This tournament will kick off this weekend between the host India, South Korea, Nepal, Guam and Indonesia in a round robin contest, leaving the favourites Sri Lanka out. The winners will qualify for the Asia sevens series later this year among the top 8 countries in Asia.
“We are not going due to the security concern, I have spoken to the Asia Rugby Football Union (ARFU) and they suggested the winners of the tournament will play in a neutral venue ideally in Bangkok very soon” “I am also trying to get this within the next two weeks, because I know you all had trained and prepared with focus” said Mr. Senavirathne. Sri Lanka will play 3 matches on the same day with the same team and the team scoring the most points will qualify for the Asian Sevens Series.
During the last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) Sri Lankan cricketers did not feature in Chennai due to the same reasons and it will perhaps be the same in this April at IPL.
The question that remains large at hand is why such events are situated in Chennai knowing full well such tension exists and in this instance Sri Lanka is a vital part of the tournament. It is a matter of our Hon Sports Minister and other sporting authorities to consider up front and protest any events being organized in Chennai in the future.
Meanwhile, Erwin Haaze the CEO of SAGT said that they are proud to be the sponsor of national womens rugby team and “we like to inspire the nation with women’s participation”. SAGT sponsored the Sri Lanka women’s team last year and they will continue its support all the women’s tournaments this year.
Furthermore, the Chairman of the women’s rugby team S.W. Chang said that “We are utterly disappointed as the girls trained so hard under the new coach Linda Itunu from New Zealand, also we have made flight arrangements, and sadly we cannot control the uncontrollable”
SLRFU looking at the possibilty of arrange an exhibition sevens game for women’s team before the CR&FC v Havelock’s game this Saturday.