Asia Rugby President Qais Al Dhalai has held talks with Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Roshan Ranasighe at the Asia Rugby offices in Dubai to discuss matters relating to the suspended Sri Lanka Rugby.
The discussions mainly focused on seeking solutions to issues regarding the governance of the game in Sri Lanka and discussions led to a request from the Minister for Asia Rugby to allow Sri Lanka Rugby National Teams to take part in Asia Rugby tournaments.
Qais Al Dhalai, the Asia Rugby President said “On 22 May 2022, the Sri Lanka Olympic Committee President Suresh Subramaniam met me in Dubai to discuss the matters concerning the suspension of Sri Lanka Rugby by the continental federation where I pledged my support for the Sri Lanka Rugby athletes to return to the field sooner than later. I visited Sri Lanka teams in Coventry few days prior to the commencement of the Commonwealth Games and I was delighted to see both the men and women teams performing well in the global area.”
He added “Today, I am delighted to receive Roshan Ranasinghe the new Sri Lankan Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs at the headquarters of Asia Rugby in the UAE – Dubai and thanking him for his commitment, dedication and passion towards sport and rugby in specific. We exchanged various Rugby matters of mutual interests, and the Minister assured me his willingness to support the athletes to enjoy their favourite sport of rugby”.
Al Dhalai said “The Minister has requested in writing and verbally an exception to be granted for the Sri Lanka Rugby National Teams to take part at the continental competitions which is to me as the President of Asia Rugby does make sense, especially when this request comes from the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and in full alignment with the desire of the Sri Lanka Olympic Committee of the same.
The request will be put forward to the Executive Committee at its upcoming meeting and positive feedback will be announced soon and if so, Sri Lanka will take the field again at the second and third legs of the upcoming prestigious Asia Rugby Sevens Series that takes place in Thailand, South Korea and the UAE”
Asia Rugby President further added: “To make it crystal clear, in order for the Asia Rugby Executive Committee to consider the removal of the suspension of Sri Lanka Rugby’s membership, we would require Sri Lanka Rugby to provide substantive and conclusive evidence that Sri Lanka Rugby is now fully responsible for the organisation of rugby-related matters under its jurisdiction; and it is in a position to perform its constitutional and regulatory duties in an appropriate manner.
This may include a final and non-appealable decision by the Courts of Sri Lanka, which is final and binding on all relevant parties, a revocation of the relevant Gazette by the duly appointed Sport and Youth Minister or a legal opinion explaining the effect of an interim order in Sri Lanka.”
The Minister thanked Asia Rugby President for supporting the athletes to play in the Asia Rugby Sevens Series and expressed his hope that Asia Rugby will support Sri Lanka Rugby to grow in technical knowledge, youth and women’s rugby development.