Asia Rugby clarified that the Sri Lanka Rugby and Mr. Rizly Ilyas’ suspensions are two separate cases and that each one has its due process that is being followed. Asia Rugby has been following the due process as per its Articles and Regulations and the Code of Conduct.
To ensure transparency and that the proper processes were followed, Asia Rugby sent Mr Benjamin van Rooyen the Interim Chief Executive Officer to Sri Lanka for the period 20th to 24th April 2022 to assess the situation.
He met with the relevant stakeholders; the Sri Lanka Ministry of Youth and Sport, Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee, the suspended Sri Lanka Rugby, various clubs representatives and the Rugby Referees Association. A consensus was established by all stakeholders that a fresh election was needed. Furthermore, it was found that there was a major concern among the main stakeholders who are not fairly represented in the decision-making process.
Relevant Article: Asia Rugby confirms temporary membership suspension for Sri Lanka
In May 2022, Asia Rugby announced the suspension of the membership of Sri Lanka Rugby. At an Extraordinary Sub-Meeting of the Asia Rugby Executive Committee (EXCO), it was unanimously decided to ratify the decision of the EXCO at its meeting on 9th April 2022 in Thailand and consequently, a full and immediate membership suspension was imposed.
The above suspension was not related to the suspension of Mr. Rizly Illyas, who was suspended on the 16th of June by the EXCO in line with Asia Rugby’s principles of equality, transparency, and accountability, as a consequence of investigations into a potential breach of Asia Rugby’s Code of Conduct by Mr Illyas.
Due to this suspension, Mr. Rizly Illyas will not be able to perform any duties, activities and responsibilities related to rugby within the jurisdiction of Asia Rugby until the pending investigation concludes.
To ensure that due process was followed and a speedy resolution to the investigation was achieved, Mr. Illyas was informed by the independent Judicial Officer on 20th June that a hearing had been scheduled for 25th June 2022. Mr. Illyas requested that the hearing be postponed till September.
The judicial officer granted the request and the new date for the hearing was set as 3rd September 2022.
Asia Rugby supports and is aligned with World Rugby’s decision to support the Sri Lanka National teams to ensure Asian teams achieve the highest possible success at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.