Rugby chiefs told to buckle up or…
The domestic sponsor of Sri Lankan club rugby has spent a whopping 400 million rupees over the past 11 years amounting to Rs.36 million a year, it was revealed last Friday.
Kushu Gomes, the managing director of Caltex Lubricants said he could not provide a guarantee that the funding of the domestic season would continue next year but asked rugby officials to take note of what has happened over the years.
He regretted that “below par performances” by teams in the League were a worrying factor.
“For the past 11 years we have spend 400 million (rupees) on rugby.
We never thought about our mileage (advertising value) and all what we wanted was improvement of the game.
I request everybody (in the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union-SLRFU) to work together for the development of the game”, said Gomes.
Annually the SLRFU gets a minimum of Rs.10 million from Caltex plus another Rs. 9 million by way of funds from the International Rugby Board (IRB) which has made it one of the lucrative sports bodies in the country and now entangled in politics with office-bearers scrambling for positions.
New rugby boss Air Chief Marshall Roshan Goonetilleke pleaded that Caltex would not turn their back on the future of the game and hoped that patronage of matches would improve under his tenure.
Meanwhile the SLRFU has decided for the first time to conduct the Clifford Cup knock-out tournament at neutral venues at Royal College ground, Longden Place and Bogambara after six clubs called for a change citing undue advantages for Kandy and CR.
The SLRFU’s vice president Lasitha Gunaratne said the tournament will be refereed by foreigners from the semi final stage while Caltex has decided to offer a new trophy apart from the old one.
By Asanka Gammanpila