By Harsha Amarasinghe
Sri Lanka Society of Rugby Football Referees (SLSRFR) has apologized to Police Sports Club during an inquiry carried out on Thursday (1) over a refereeing blunder that cost Police SC what could have been a significant victory over Havelock Sports Club in their Dialog Inter-club League Rugby Tournament match concluded on January 21.
Police produced a stunning comeback in the second-half as their prop forward Lahiru Pavithra went under the post in the final minute of the injury time and as fly-half Sandesh Jayawickrama was taking the kick to add the extra points, there was an early charge from Havelock players. Although the referee appeared to have noticed that, Police were not allowed to retake the conversion which left both the teams tied at 24-all.
Police had made an appeal within the next 48 hours and as a result of that an inquiry was held on Thursday at Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) where the referee was found guilty on eight out of the ten complaints lodged by Police SC after which the Vice President of SLSRFR, Tony Amith apologized to Police SC over the incorrect decisions made by the referee.
"It was proved that some of the decisions taken by the referee was incorrect, and Tony Amith apologized on behalf of Referees Society," a source close to the Police management told Daily Mirror.
Police has also been encouraged to provide a written appeal to SLR in order to change the outcome of the game although chances of changing the result remains to be very slim.
"The Referees Society accepted that they could have even awarded a penalty try or allowed to retake the conversion. They also admitted that positioning of refree was very poor right throughout the game. We were told to lodge an appeal to try and change the result," the source further revealed