World Rugby (WR), the global governing body of rugby, has suspended Sri Lanka’s membership with immediate effect due to breach of WR Bye-Laws connected to political interference.
“The World Rugby Council and Asia Rugby agreed that the international federation and regional association would work together with all stakeholders to ensure the least possible disruption of rugby in Sri Lanka,” issuing an official statement, WR said.
Accordingly, Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) will be barred from functioning according to the WR and Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) and as a nation, Sri Lanka will lose its privileges of grants and participation in regional and global competitions until matters are resolved.
“The immediate priority is to work with all of the relevant stakeholders to resolve the governance issues. A resolution of these issues will enable Sri Lankan athletes and officials to participate in upcoming matches and tournaments in Asia,” the WR statement added.
The statement further explains that WR and ARFU will ‘urgently work with all stakeholders to put in place a programme of meetings to be held in Sri Lanka to hopefully resolve the current impasse’, which brings rugby affairs to a standstill until an all-clear issued by the global body.
Rugby is the second sport in Sri Lanka to be banned by its global body following FIFA’s global ban on Football Federation of Sri Lanka almost five months ago.
Sri Lanka’s custodians of sports affairs – the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports – have come under heavy criticism at global level after the appointment of the current Minister of Sports, Roshan Ranasinghe, under whose governance two of Sri Lanka’s top sports bodies received global bans from its parent bodies.