Sri Lanka Rugby disgraced over player’s tour conduct | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Rugby disgraced over player’s tour conduct

Gemunu Cheitiya
Gemunu Cheitiya

Sri Lanka’s rugby establishment has been shaken to a disgraceful state after its youth captain Gemunu Cheitiya was put on a plane and sent home from Taiwan where the team was contesting the Asian Championships following a serious case of misconduct.

Cheitiya is alleged to have been involved in a case of sexual misconduct with a staff member at the hotel where the team put up and the Asian Rugby Football Union (AFRU) has called on Sri Lanka Rugby to conduct what it called an “appropriate inquiry” while referring to the matter as a serious breach unbecoming of a player.

The ARFU has also apologized to the Taiwan Rugby Football Association which conducted the tournament in where Sri Lanka lost all their matches to returned empty handed.

Sri Lanka Rugby said it was shocked to hear of the incident while charging that it was the responsibility of school officials who accompanied the players to admit the lapse and conduct an impartial inquiry.

“This was a team that played under the Sri Lanka flag under the management of the Schools Rugby Association. We have to await the outcome of their inquiry which I hope will be devoid of political or outside interference”,said Sri Lanka Rugby vice president Rizly Illyas.

Until the outcome of the inquiry Cheitiya will be debarred from any playing activities as he is said to have enlisted at CH and FC for the on-going inter club League tournament of which Illyas is the Tournament Director.

According to the correspondence received by Sri Lankan authorities from Taiwan, the incident has been described as “disturbing and criminal”although the victim has decided against pressing criminal charges, the Sunday Observer learns from an official in Taiwan.

An investigation has revealed that Cheitiya’s conduct had fallen way short of expectations during preparations for the Asian tournament and administrators had even contemplated leaving him out of the tour party.

Cheitya, who is no more a schoolboy, was instrumental in raising the fortunes of St. Joseph’s College during the concluded 2018 inter-school rugby season where he became a leading try-scorer after crossing over from Lalith Athulathmudali Vidyalaya in Ratmalana.

But questions are now being asked whether some schools give thought to winning only and unable to discipline players they enlist from lesser known backgrounds who don their hallowed jerseys which at one time were an exclusive property only for the discerning.