CR & FC captain Omalka Gunaratne has been suspended for eight matches following his conduct during the controversial Dialog Rugby League game against Police Sports Club which saw the Red Shirts walking off the field after 65 minutes in protest against decisions made by referee Praneeth Weranga.
Sri Lanka fifteens captain having contracted an eye infection (sore eyes) made an attempt to take part in the game at Police Park on the instructions of the team
management, but after the referee intervened preventing such a move, CR opted to forfeit the match.
The Disciplinary Committee has also suspended the team manager Shiek Hussein for 12 matches for his part in the encounter.
The committee however has interestingly not punished head coach Dushanth Lewke who was supposed to be the man in charge on the bench. A document related to the Disciplinary Committee’s decision in fact suggests that the Match Commissioner, though stating of Lewke’s involvement in this encounter in his report, has had a change of heart at the inquiry.
The Disciplinary Committee in their findings had stated thus, “in the report submitted by the Match Commissioner, he had alleged that Head Coach Dushanth Lewke had also been complicit in the conduct of CR & FC stopping the game and also refusing to come back on to the field. However during the course of the inquiry, the Match Commissioner had testified that Dushanth Lewke had not participated in this infraction in any manner. Therefore, Match Commissioner had made (an) incorrect representation of a serious nature against a team official in the match report. Match Commissioner to be warned to be more specific and accurate in his reporting of incidents to SLR in the future and that in the event of a repetition of a false statement in a match report that disciplinary action will be taken against Match Commissioner,”.
CR and FC has also been suspended from taking part in any of the remaining games of the league tournament this year, and interestingly SLR announced on Tuesday that they have scrapped the Super Round, putting an end to the tournament.
The ‘Super Round’ was scrapped following the outbreak of coronavirus which will now see Kandy Sports Club claiming what would be their sixth straight league title.
Nigel Ratwatte’s side mathematically won the tournament at the end of second round having collected a total of 82 points in comparison to second placed Police who had secured 60 points, so the cancellation of Super Round makes a lot of sense.
On the other hand the final standings of the tournament is yet to be finalized and in case of a points deduction, CR will finish last and be able to bring in a foreign player next season which ultimately would not be a bad outcome for a penalty of Rs. 350 000.
SLR is yet to make a call on the Clifford Cup, but a top official from the parent body revealed that the ‘tournament is very unlikely to be played this year.’