Kandy disappointed over withdrawal of IRB status
RUGBY: A dispute has arisen about what status Kandy Sports
Club organised 10th Singer-SriLankan Airlines International Rugby 7's to
be staged at Nittawela on September 5, 6 and 7 will get as the
International Rugby Board (IRB) has given Hong Kong the right to be one
of the venues for its Satellite Circuit to be staged on October 3 and 4.
The Singer-SriLankan Airlines International Rugby 7's started in 1999
and was included on the Satellite Circuit of the IRB in 2005, but this
year (2008), the IRB has picked Hong Kong to be one of the venues for
its Satellite to be staged on December 3 and 4.
Mr. Iswan Omar - the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the 10th
Singer-SriLankan Airlines International Rugby sevens said that the IRB
had taken the decision to give Hong Kong official status to stage the
tournament due to the security situation prevailing in Sri Lanka.
Omar told the 'Sunday Observer' that Kandy sports Club are "really
disappointed" over the attitude of the IRB in this issue as there is no
problems here in Sri Lanka regarding the security situation. He said:
The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) conducted the Singer Asiad in
Colombo last November successfully and there were no problems whatsoever
for the 12 teams that participated.
The 'Sunday Observer' understands that the SLRFU are to seek a
clarification from the IRB during a scheduled meeting to be held during
the Hong Kong International 7's on March 28, 29 and 30.
Kandy Sports Club too, has protested to the IRB stating that the
sponsors of this event (Singer and SriLankan Airlines) were making plans
to conduct the event on a grand scale and the decision of the IRB is a
setback and demoralising effet on the organisational skills of Kandy
Sports Club and sponsors who pump in "a lot of money" and energy for
this event. Kandy managed to get IRB status for the International 7's in
2005 as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wanted more qualifying
tournaments in Asia to qualify for the Olympics and this was one of the
main reasons that the IRB granted its status to the Singer-SriLankan
Omar went on to say that Kandy Sports Club had requested the IRB to
continue the International 7's at Nittawela as an IRB Satellite and
include Hong Kong too. Last year (2007), Hong Kong won the Cup category
at Nittawela beating South Korea (37-5) in the final after beating Sri
Lanka 21-14 in the semi-finals. Earlier, Sri Lanka beat Kampuchea
(47-0), Kazakhstan (28-14) and Thailand (36-7), but lost to South Korea
(10-33). The Plate was won by China beating Thailand (34-0) and the Bowl
won by India beating Kampuchea (36-5).