The rugby violence that craves actionsAugust 18, 2012, 3:55 pm
by Chathura Pinnawala
Sri Lankan rugby is walking on a slippery road. While the quality of rugby has been thickening, at the same time the desire to take matters on to their own hands by spectators has seen remarkable lessons of hooliganism. It has become a norm rather than a rarity and when spectators take the spotlight over the action in the field that is calamitous for the sport.
The latest soap opera of this indigenous tales of high jinks was seen after the Kandy vs. Navy match. In all sense of imagination, a game so fiercely contested as this and finished in the most alluring of photo finishes deserved its final bow of sporting applause. The current status of stands is so uncivil these days it’s no wonder that wasn’t what followed in frolic fashion.
The usual blame game of the two sides can ramble on for so long. Nothing will be placed in order and the open invitations for violence will mock its way over sporting crowds. There’s no doubt it’s only a select few that has these rowdy behaviours injected to them. The fans who do actually enamour a good game of rugby and has a level of decency to put the affairs in the field behind, or better put let a match be decided on the playing field is been marginalized.
This isn’t a developing situation in Sri Lanka either; the involvement of rugby fans in matches has been swarming around the world. Football has been the martyr of hooliganism for ages and in terms of cultivating mannerism, its administrators have found out cutting down on them needs identification and banning them for varying degrees.
Admittedly, the technology regarding these are primary and will take years of execution to arrive at a level of urgency. But this does need actions. And fast. Tough process it is as tickets have to be issued in a way of recognition, the costs will be at a premium for the devices involved and the SLRFU won’t be able to deal with this alone as they would need a helping hand of financial back up. Times are changing.
Not too long ago, Police vs. Air Force match turned into brutal exhibition of a riot when foreign players of Police thought it was fit to test what a fellow Air Force player was made of. Rugby has a reputation to be played between hard-boiled individuals, the conduct of the local players have been something to be proud of this season. When powerful clubs collide it is bound to cause friction, with so much expected and the competition being at an all time high, victory means a lot.
Victory earned on the field that is.
The escalation isn’t over as the abuse the referees have been subjected to would attest. There’s reasoning behind the calls about sub-standards but as referee’s union President Nizam Jamaldeen asserted anyone who find the service rendered to be not up to the scratch can volunteer to do a better job. These individuals aren’t professionals and the era of professionalism is a star in the sky that seems elusive for the moment.
Sport is beginning to or may have even reached by now, a phase where winning matters above all factors. At a time like this, responsible spectators have a bigger part to play than the players.
The sooner the sports loving public realise this, the better.
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Last Updated May 22 2013 | 10:58 pm