Letter: Sports Minister talking shop with rugby | Sunday Observer

Letter: Sports Minister talking shop with rugby

Sports Minister Harin Fernando must have woken up from his sleep after seeing crowds witnessing rugby matches in Sri Lanka under artificial lights.

This refers to his remarks in an interview with the Sunday Observer where he says he wants to create a “new culture for rugby” by playing matches at night to get the crowds. May I tell Minister Fernando that although rugby is an elite sport, more than half the rugby followers in this country use public transport and in no way are they going to see rugby at night knowing that Sri Lanka’s appalling public transport system virtually shuts down after 8.30 pm unless the Minister can provide a special bus service from all venues that will host matches.

I wonder on what basis was he talking of holding rugby matches at night. If he was not dreaming then someone had pulled his legs. He should have gone to Havelock Park to witness club rugby at night and then counted the number of spectators that were less than the number during day time matches.

On the other hand how can Minister Fernando give the country and the sports followers a guarantee that he will be the sports minister even for another one year with elections in the offing.

Minister Fernando is someone who can interact with players and administrators and even present himself well at functions as he come from St. Joseph’s College which is a school that produces quality people.

This is why he should be careful in making such chronic utterances that playing rugby at night is the solution.

Mohan Abeywardena