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New system on overseas players, format unfair: KSC Rugby Chairman

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By Shamseer Jaleel

The new Inter Club Rugby season 2018/2019 will kick off in November this year but two months prior there is a lot of controversy with many clubs showing their displeasure over the new format and allocation of overseas players for the bottom four clubs.

Former Antonian, CH & FC and Kandy SC player and current Kandy Sports Club Rugby Chairman Lasantha Wijesuriya told Daily FT: “The new format is very unfair. The worst is that none of the clubs were consulted before taking these decisions. They can take any decisions at the Council Meetings but need to consult the clubs and get the majority approval before executing same. This was not done. This is basic stuff in the corporate world or any sports body.

“Further they have decided to give funds or bring overseas players only for the bottom four clubs. For example CR & FC have taken some very good players from other Colombo clubs plus some very good school leavers. Therefore providing funds for them without funding the top four is unfair. We feel Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) is favouring a particular team, which is not done. What happens if the team end of the season is going to end on number 4 will try to fix a game or two and become number 5 to field overseas players in the following year? Also tables could and will turn after the first round plus the positions. What are they going to do for the overseas players? Are they going to bring new players for round 2? Nothing is clear. We have to travel down to Colombo on no less than seven occasions and other teams travel up to Kandy only once. Our cost is very high compared to all other seven teams.”

Lasantha concluded: “After playing a daunting 14 matches plus thereafter another two matches, the League championship is decided. Number 1 team will need to play number 4 after playing 14 matches. If they have an off day and lose the game they lose out on the league as well. This is ridiculous rule. What we want is for SLR to discuss with all eight teams and take a fair decision now itself without dragging till the last minute.”

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