The Ministry of Sports has put international rugby events scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka this year on hold considering the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) had sought the permission of the Sports Ministry to hold the Asia Rugby Championship Division 1 XV's tournament (a World Cup Rugby 2023 qualifying pathway tournament involving Philippines, UAE, Singapore and Sri Lanka) from November 1 2020 and the Asia Rugby Under 19 Championship tournament (a qualifying pathway tournament to World Rugby Tournament involving Chinese Taipei Hong Kong, Korea and Sri Lanka) from early December to mid December 2020.
However, the Ministry of Sports has instructed SLR to wait until Sri Lanka has a better control over the pandemic.
“Accordingly, as per the recommendation provided by the Institute of Sports Medicine in this regard, since criteria for international traveling have not yet been finalized, there is less possibility of having those tournaments here in Sri Lanka. The two other local tournaments supposed to hold (sic) in Sri Lanka will also definitely depend on the future outbreak of COVID -19 and players can follow the phases of training 1, 2, 3 of the national guideline of Sri Lanka issued by this Ministry to engage in ports during Covid -19.Accordingly, considering the above factors, it is advisable to wait until the country's COVID – 19 situation become (sic) stable and review the events in the future,” the Sports Ministry said in a letter sent to SLR.
The two local tournaments SLR had sought permission for was the Inter Club 7’s tournament 2020/2021 proposed to commence in October, November 2020 and the Dialog Clifford Cup Knockout 2020/2021 in November this year.