The player dispute between top clubs Kandy SC and Havelocks Sports Club intensified after the Disciplinary Committee appointed to address the issue gave permission for the player concerned, Shehan Pathirana, to continue representing the Nittawela club in the domestic rugby tournament.

Havelocks SC have protested against Kandy SC ‘grabbing’ one of its players whom the park club claims violated a contract he (Pathirana) had signed with them. Havelocks SC continue to maintain the fact that Pathirana was under obligation to turnout for them till his contract expired on December 31, 2015. Havelocks SC claim the player violated the contract by representing Kandy SC when his contract with the park club was still in existence.

SLRFU Executive Director Rohan Guneratne told Nation that Pathirana had been given permission by a Disciplinary Committee appointed to probe the matter till a verdict on the issue was given. The disciplinary committee was scheduled to have another hearing regarding this matter on January 8 (Friday) evening, just before this edition went into press.

The Disciplinary committee is headed by Ibrahim Hamid.Kandy SC Rugby Chairman Lasantha Wijesuriya when contacted said that the Nittawela club had continued to keep SLRFU informed throughout the entire process of recruiting Pathirana and giving him a contract. Wijesuriya added that Kandy SC showed interest in the player five months ago and requested the player to obtain a release letter from his former club (Havelocks SC).

He alleged that the player’s contract with Havelocks SC didn’t exist at the time of negotiating with him due to the park club’s payments to the player having gone irregular.
A Havelocks SC official who spoke on terms of anonymity said that the club was protesting because Kandy SC and Pathirana had flouted the laws laid out by the tournament committee. “When the SLRFU’s disciplinary committee met both parties we were clearly told that the player can’t take part in the tournament till the inquiry is over, but this committee overturned their decision within 24 hours and allowed him to play. This is totally wrong and Havelocks SC insists that both Kandy SC and the player be penalized if they have breached tournament laws,” the source said.

Havelocks SC also maintain that Pathirana was never issued a release letter and that he had violated the contract with the club by representing Kandy SC in one of their matches that took place before December 31.