CR and FC hit a historical low on Sunday when they opted to walk off an ongoing league encounter against Police Sports Club at Police Park which resulted in home-side receiving a bonus-point victory putting them in pole position to finish second in the tournament.
Police had taken a resounding half-time lead of 20-6 courtesy of a first half brace from number eight Kavinda Jayasundara, but CR was making a fight out of it through Riza Mubarak’s place-kicking bringing down the deficit to 11 points (27-16) by the 68th minute when CR walked off for the second time in the space of 30 minutes, clearly in protest against referee Hasantha Weranga.
A club spokesman from CR and FC revealed that the main reason behind walking off was basically not having enough replacements who could be sent in.
“After the Kandy game we had some players with sore eyes but before the Police game almost all the players were cleared by the match commissioner and only player that was not allowed to play was Kevin Dixon. The problem is Police made a protest during the game which is illegal in my opinion and the referees did not allow our players such as Omalka Gunarathne to take part in the game. Omalka played for a little while and then they said he cannot play which is unfair.
However, if we were told this prior to the game we could have had replacements on the bench. Maybe they won’t be as good as Omalka but still they could have come on and play. We will file a formal complaint against this immediately,” a club spokesman told Daily Mirror.
Meanwhile, the Police management stated that they had indeed lodged a protest about CR and FC players carrying eye infections prior to the game.
“We made a complaint before the game and I think they had about 12 players with sore eyes and it’s contagious. For them to walk away like they did was strange and embarrassing. We hope Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) would take a firm decision about this,” Police management revealed.
A top official from Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) meanwhile made it very clear that the parent body should take stern decision over CR and FC walking off midway through the game.
“It’s an absolute disgrace. This is the most prestigious club competition in Sri Lanka and for fans, the sponsors and everyone to see them walking like that is very disappointing and certainly not something that should be taken lightly. The SLR would and should take tough decisions because we cannot let this happen,” the SLR official said. (Harsha Amarasinghe)