The National Olympic Committee (NOCSL) and the Sports Ministry guaranteed that a team will represent the country in Rugby Sevens at the Asian Games next month, as part of its 150-plus contingent to take part in the regional multi-sport event.
The Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) suspension, by World Rugby (WR) and Asia Rugby (AR), meant that the country’s rugby sevens team could potentially have missed the games.
But later it was agreed that the team would participate through the NOCSL, participating under its flag.
However, the NOCSL said the team will now participate under the national flag.
The Ministry has approved 15 players to take part in the men’s sevens competition.
“We can confirm that Sri Lanka will field a team at the Asian Games. The team has been selected by SLR, but the NOCSL has supervised the process,” Nishantha Piyasena, Chef de Mission of Sri Lanka’s contingent for the games, said.
“We were removed from the draw and replaced by Nepal. But upon discussion with the organisers, Sri Lanka has been reinstated into the rugby sevens competition,” Secretary General of the NOCSL, Maxwell de Silva, said.
“Now that the Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) President has resigned, a lot of the issues surrounding Sri Lankan rugby can be resolved, and the Minister will do so in the near future,” Prof. Shemal Fernando, Director General Department of Sports, said.
The 19th Asian Games will begin on September 23 and end on October 8.
Sri Lanka will field athletes in 21 sports events, as per approval from the Ministry.
Sri Lanka’s contingent will include 97 athletes, and 44 officials, which will rise to 154 with other individuals who are expected to travel for the games.
An amount of USD 500 has been approved for each individual travelling for the games as a per diem, while air fare will cost around Rs. 300,000 per person.
The contingent will have two captains, a male and a female, with four names being nominated.
DSI’s Avi brand has come forward to sponsor the team, while Lovi Sarongs will provide some of the clothing.
Source: Daily Mirror