|SLRRS wants inquiry into abuse of touch judge
by Ravi Nagahawatte
The Sri Lanka Rugby Referees Society (SLRRS) has requested the Sri Lanka Rugby Union (SLRFU) to hold an immediate inquiry into the incident where one of its members was verbally abused by a coach and his players during an A Division rugby match played last week.
Nimal Lewke, President SLRRS, told The Island that the Referees Society was in the process of forwarding their grievance to the SLRFU in writing. "We will see the outcome of the inquiry and then decide what steps should be taken in terms of protecting referees at future assignments. This is the second time that referees have made a complaint against this coach," said Lewke.
The SLRRS complain that the Touch Judge who officiated in the match between Kandy Youth Sports Club and Old Zahirians was verbally abused by the coach and his players of the team from Kandy. Interestingly the referee in the match, Shamrath Fernando, had gone to the extent of issuing yellow cards to eight members of the Kandy Youth SC team along with the coach.
Harsha Mayadunne, president SLRFU, when contacted said that an inquiry into the matter will be held as soon as the SLRRS communicates with him on the matter.
"Initially we will try to settle the issue at SLRFU level. But if there is no favourable outcome at the inquiry the matter will be referred to the SLRFUs Discipline Committee," said Mayadunne.
Mayadunne stated that it is the responsibility of the host side to protect the referee and players of the visiting team during matches.
Janaka Pathirana, president Kandy Youth Sports Club, when contacted said that club will hold its own inquiry if such an incident took place at the match. "When I came down from the grand stand I saw the players standing behind the bench. I dont know what actually happened. There were spectators standing behind the players. It is not known whether they shouted at the touch judge or the players did," said Pathirana.
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