Referees’ change of mindset questioned by rugby stalwart Marso | Sunday Observer

Referees’ change of mindset questioned by rugby stalwart Marso

21 June, 2020
Hafeez Marso in police uniform during his playing days
Hafeez Marso in police uniform during his playing days

Hafeez Marso, the 1989 rugby captain of Triple Champions, Police, who is also a retired Deputy Inspector General, says it is worthy to note that the referees are beginning to realize the importance of responsibility and accountability.

Marso, a sturdy prop forward and reliable place kicker during his heydays, shared his thoughts about the confidentiality in the referee review process exclusively with Sunday Observer.

“We see the Referees Society has deviated from its earlier unequivocal stand calling to disband the Match Review Committee (MRC). At last, now they are beginning to talk sense but then what made them to change their mindset,” said Marso.

Speaking further he said: “Instead, the Referees Society now wants to preserve the confidentiality of the MRC reports saying that the young set of referees can be demotivated if the findings are made public.

“This new proposal would make matters worse bringing the issue back to square one.

“In the past, before the MRC came to effect, these issues were discussed within the inner circles and matters ended there with no recourse to improvement or a proper feed back in writing to the aggrieved party.

“Still I find that the Referees Society has no clue whatsoever to the existing Sports Law and SLR Constitution I would like them to refer the Extraordinary Gazette (EG) no. 1990/23 of 27th Oct. 2016 Regulation 5 (4) i & EG no. 2006/13 of 13th Feb. 2017, Regulation (4) a and to carefully go through the starting paragraph of the former EG notification inter - alia.

“ A person shall be disqualified from being elected or otherwise to hold office or continue to hold any paid or unpaid office or to hold any paid post or to be a member of a Committee of any National Association of Sports or to be a nominee of an affiliated club or organization in a National Sports Association.

“With these amendments, all the Clubs and affiliates of SLR are legally bound to make necessary amendments to their respective Constitutions in keeping with the Sports Law and SLR Constitution. I hope the Referees Society is now very clear with the law about paid or unpaid employees and of technical or match officials (CMO, TMO, REFEREE, CITING OFFICER, MATCH COMMISSIONER or any such technical hands) that they are disqualified for being nominated or to serve in the parent body (SLR) or affiliated body as office bearers or Committee Members. It applies to the affiliated bodies as well and more so, the interpretation of the Attorney General about the technical persons involved in the game of rugby to the terms (coach, referee, judge, umpire etc;) referred in the gazette is very clear.

“So it’s high time for all the affiliates to amend its Constitution to give effect to the new provisions of the Sports Law and SLR Constitution. Now, please don’t say the affiliates are not bound to do so and make yourselves a laughing stock”.

He also said: “Talking of Conflict of Interest, I would like to quote one classic example of how Saman Kothalawela (Citing Commissioner) cited the Police versus Kandy Match on 9th March 2020 at Nittawela. SLR is yet to receive his report and we hear that Saman has been giving lame excuses for obvious reasons. What action has SLR taken against him. Is the Citing Commissioner’s job, a side income to claim the payment when the going is smooth and shun responsibility when it really matters to report. The organizers should have known to assign a neutral CC. By now Saman and the clan may have got the message from the Club hierarchy not to get involved in officiating matches except the big job.

“When we talk about “Conflict of Interest” in general terms, primarily it is considered an ethical facet that people should understand and avoid being a party to issues that they may have an interest, directly or indirectly. Now Article 25.6 of SLR Constitution says; “All members of the Council shall act in accordance with their fiduciary duties and applicable laws and shall, for avoidance of doubt, recuse themselves from any decision in which they have a conflict of interest”.

Concluding his thoughts ex DIG Marso said “I think this makes clear sense”.