RED ALERT OVER SE­CU­RITY IN NITTAWELA

Match Com­mis­sioner blasts Kandy’s for­eign sup­porter ‘barks like a dog’

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS - BY HAR­SHA AMARAS­INGHE

Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has been warned over the ground se­cu­rity up in Nittawela fol­low­ing Kandy Sports Club’s de­feat to Army Sports Club on Satur­day. The Sol­diers clinched what turned out to be a highly com­pet­i­tive match by just one point fol­low­ing a con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion by ref­eree Sarath Madugalle to dis­al­low a try scored by cen­tre Danushka Ran­jan in the last minute which could have given them a win. The de­lighted Kandy faith­fulls marched into the mid­dle of the sta­dium to cel­e­brate the try even be­fore the fi­nal whis­tle, in­ter­rupt­ing the game for more than five min­utes, but then the ref­eree in­formed Kandy’s stand-in skip­per Roshan Weer­aratne and Nigel Rat­watte that he had de­cided to dis­al­low the try due to an ap­par­ent knock-on in the build-up.

Since then the ref­eree has come un­der heavy crit­i­cism on so­cial me­dia in par­tic­u­lar, but on Sun­day the match com­mis­sioner Kavinda Jayasena has re­vealed in his re­port about the mis­be­haviour of Kandy fans and how the au­thor­i­ties failed to deal with it.

“I would also like to make an of­fi­cial com­plaint about Kandy Sports Club rugby grounds and its of­fi­cials about their han­dling the crowd and the dif­fi­cul­ties and threat that we face as of­fi­cials when we do matches in Kandy,” Jayasena has stated in a let­ter to SLR. “As you know there is not much of space be­tween the grounds, of­fi­cials sit­ting area (my­self as the Match com­mis­sioner and Sub of­fi­cials) and the spec­ta­tors. It’s re­ally dif­fi­cult to con­cen­trate and do our du­ties there be­cause the spec­ta­tors are right be­hind us ham­mer­ing in to the boards and threat­en­ing the of­fi­cials con­tin­u­ally,” the for­mer Have­lock cap­tain states fur­ther.

In an as­ton­ish­ing rant he has also

There were this for­eigner, a sup­porter from Kandy who barks like dog (sic) (Apol­o­gize for us­ing this lan­guage), came close to me and threaten (sic) shout­ing at us in raw filth call­ing me a cheater and the sub of­fi­cial Mr. Y.m.s. rath­nayake and they al­most came to hit us which is re­ally em­bar­rass­ing. Ref­eree is the one who is tak­ing the de­ci­sions in­side the grounds and we can­not do any­thing about it, but re­gret to in­form you that Kandy of­fi­cials didn’t take any ac­tion about it and they were not bother (sic) at all Kandy faith­fulls marched into the mid­dle of the sta­dium to cel­e­brate the try There is no place for hooli­gan­ism in sports Nittawela is the only rugby venue in the is­land where one could ex­pect a packed house

claimed that he and his team was threat­ened by one of Kandy Sports Club’s for­eign sup­port­ers dur­ing the game.

“There were this for­eigner, a sup­porter from Kandy who barks like a dog (sic) (Apol­o­gize for us­ing this lan­guage), came close to me and threaten (sic) shout­ing at us in raw filth call­ing me a cheate and the sub of­fi­cial Mr. Y.m.s. rath­nayake and they al­most came to hit us which is re­ally em­bar­rass­ing. Ref­eree is the one who is tak­ing the de­ci­sions in­side the grounds and we can­not do any­thing about it, but re­gret to in­form you that Kandy of­fi­cials didn’t take any ac­tion about it and they were not both­ered (sic) at all,” the for­mer Trin­ity for­ward re­vealed.

Danushka Ran­jan put Kandy back in the lead in the 47th minute with his sec­ond try of the match and as he and his team­mates walked off the in-goal area a cer­tain Kandy fan came run­ning into the try-line and dived over the ball.

“1st in­ci­dent where a spec­ta­tor comes and dives into the ground after a try score (sic) and no one tak­ing (sic) no­tice of it and just let­ting it go. Po­lice and Kandy of­fi­cials just watch­ing it,” added Jayasena.

Kandy wing three quar­ter Anu­rudda Wil­wara – their man for the big oc­ca­sion once again ap­peared to have won it for them when he touched down in the 70th minute and a spec­ta­tor charged into the mid­dle con­grat­u­lat­ing the play­ers.

“Again after (the) try by Kandy SC, a spec­ta­tor came into the ground hug­ging all the Kandy play­ers and eas­ily walk­ing out of the field,” Jayasena has writ­ten of the sec­ond in­ci­dent.

Jayasena has also de­manded bet­ter se­cu­rity for him­self and the match of­fi­cials while also re­quest­ing not to ap­point him as a match com­mis­sioner should SLR fail to deal with this is­sue.

“Please treat this mail se­ri­ously be­cause we as of­fi­cials can­not risk our lives for this. Hence I kindly re­quest you’ll (sic) if this is the way this tour­na­ment is go­ing to con­tinue I am not will­ing to do any Kandy games un­less SLR could pro­vide proper se­cu­rity for my­self and the match of­fi­cials. If SLR is un­able to meet the nec­es­sary se­cu­rity needed please do not ap­point me as the match com­mis­sioner be­cause I can­not risk my life for this,” Jayasena has con­cluded.

The Rugby Chair­man of Kandy Sports Club Las­an­tha Wi­jesuriya how­ever down­played the in­ci­dent in an in­ter­view with the‘ ’.

Please treat this mail se­ri­ously be­cause we as of­fi­cials can­not risk our lives for this

“What ac­tu­ally hap­pened was our fans thought the game was over when the fi­nal try was scored and they came into the field, but no dam­age was done as the Po­lice was put in place,” Wi­jesuriya told the ‘ ’ while claim­ing he didn’t no­tice a for­eign fan of Kandy Sports Club threat­en­ing the match of­fi­cials.

The for­mer Kandy cap­tain mean­while went on to claim that they were ‘very dis­ap­pointed’ over the de­ci­sions made by the ref­eree dur­ing the game.

“We have not made any com­plaints of­fi­cially about the ref­eree or the touch judges as it would not change the re­sult. We are Kandy Sports Club and we can deal with a de­feat, but I got to say the rugby knowl­edge of the ref­eree as well as the touch judges were very poor,” Wi­jesuriya claimed.

There is no place for hooli­gan­ism in sports and Kandy should prob­a­bly have a bet­ter con­trol over their fans, but then again Nittawela is the only rugby venue in the is­land where one could ex­pect a packed house week in week out and club rugby in Sri Lanka would be a dull af­fair with­out it Kandy fans to state the least.

- PIC BY SHAMZEER JALEEL

Kandy SC fly half Nigel Rat­watte wards off a Army SC de­fender at Nittawela, which turned out to be an in­ci­dent packed en­counter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.