By Harsha Amarasinghe
St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya who are chasing what could be their first Inter-School League Rugby title in eight years have demanded for foreign referees for their remaining fixtures as they approach the business end of the competition.
Sanath Martis’ side is tied on points with Royal College at the top of the points table in what appears to be a two-horse race for the most prestigious trophy at inter-school level, and hence the last two games could prove to be massively significant.
“We understand that the Referees’ Society has taken a decision to appoint Mr. Jamaldeen (Aaqil) as the referee for the game between St. Peter’s College and St. Joseph’s College. Now he is an old Royalist. As we all understand, St. Peter’s and Royal are leading the points table right now. So a defeat to St. Peter’s at the hands of St. Joseph’s could literally end whatever the chances St. Peter’s have to win the league. So we do have a problem when an old Royalist is named to officiate such an important game. Moreover, if you consider the history of most of the Royal College games, there is one particular referee continuously blowing all the games,” a representative of St. Peter’s College who was present at the conference held at Ministry of Sports yesterday revealed.
St. Peter’s College also made it clear that they are hoping to assign a foreign referee for their next couple of games.
“We have seen that the SLR bringing down foreign referees for the important inter-club games, so why can’t that happen at inter-school level? We want a fair game,” stated the Peterite representative.
The Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports, Faiszer Musthapha then queried “who will bear the cost?” to which the instant reply was ‘the school most definitely.”
Nizam Jamaldeen the President of Sri Lanka Society of Rugby Football Referees denied ‘unfair’ claims.
“It is very unfair to say that the referees are favouring this and that school. It has not happened and these claims create an unwanted issue,” Jamaldeen stated.