Kandy SC dismisses SLR’s ‘bully’ rhetoric | Sunday Observer

Kandy SC dismisses SLR’s ‘bully’ rhetoric

Kandy Sports Club has refuted the charge made by Sri Lanka Rugby’s (SLR) deputy president Rizly Illyas who in an interview with the Sunday Observer last week said that the champion club was in the habit of “bullying” them and throwing their weight around which they don’t wish to tolerate.

“We are extremely disappointed with the irresponsible and baseless statement made by the SLR deputy president Rizly Iliyas, but we are not surprised with his attitude since he has always acted against our Club,” Kandy Sports Club president Mahesh Weerasinghe said in a statement.

Elaborating further Weerasinghe said: “Kandy Sports Club has never tried to bully anyone and has always come out with the truth to ensure justice and fair play. It is Sri Lanka Rugby who has allowed Kandy Sports Club to be bullied and even their players to be physically assaulted, without taking any action against the perpetrators. Some of the incidents include – firing a T-56 weapon on the field of play during a game, assaulted (player) Fazil Marija on the field by PSD officials etc. Iliyas seems to be having a ‘memory lapse’.”

Kandy SC was also found fault with by SLR for withdrawing from contesting this year’s Clifford Cup over the venue but has hit back saying they did not want to disappoint their fans by agreeing to play at a so-called neutral venue.

“Our decision to withdraw from the Clifford Cup was on a matter of principle. It did not make any sense to play rugby on a ground where only 200-300 people turn out to watch the game. This is certainly not the way to promote rugby. Thanks to the Union’s incompetence and lack of vision Kandy remains the only outstation club playing “A” Division rugby and there are still only eight (8) teams playing in the “A” Division whereas there are over fifty (50) schools playing rugby,” Kandy SC further said in reply to Illyas.

To the charge that their players are despised and indulge in politics, Weerasinghe said: “We wish to categorically state that none of our players are involved in club politics and do not create any animosity against other clubs or players.

“Our players are friendly with players of other clubs and are encouraged to play the game in the correct spirit. Iliyas should not cast aspersions on our players and in doing so only expresses his immaturity and bias towards our club and players.

“We do not dissuade our players from representing our country and agree that the players should have a proper ‘heart’ to play for the country. It is the responsibility of SLR and it is up to them to ensure the proper conditions are in place to win the confidence of the players so that they can make themselves available for national duty.”