Ref ‘assault’ referred to committee

Wednesday February 12, 2020 Written by Published in League

A judicial committee will meet today to deliberate on the complaint alleging player misconduct. 


Cook Islands Rugby League’s judiciary committee will relook at the complaint alleging a player “manhandled” a referee after the Nines final last month.

The national body’s lack of action against the Avatiu Eels player led to the referees association deciding not to officiate the Raro Cars weekly competition, which started on Saturday last week.

At a special meeting on Monday night, the present clubs mooted and accepted a motion to take the matter to the judicial committee.

The committee will be meeting today to look into the complaint and come with an outcome, confirmed Tai Nelio, Cook Islands Rugby League’s competition coordinator.

Cook Islands Rugby League Referees Association acting chairman Sean Willis last night welcomed the decision.

“I’m quite happy that due process is going to be carried out on this matter. There is a system in place that needs to be followed and that’s what we have asked for,” Willis said.

The referees association filed a complaint against the player alleging he hurled physical and verbal abuse at one of their members after the Nines final’s match on January 4.

The rugby league body dismissed the case, saying that the matter should have been dealt with on the day of the incident, as per the League Nines Manual, and that there was a lack of evidence by supporting officials.

Cook Islands Rugby League had warned the player involved in the incident.

But Sean Willis earlier said: “A match official was manhandled, it’s not permitted anywhere. An assault is assault. There shouldn’t be any time frame to deal with such cases, and this is bulls*** that a referee or an official has to be a witness.”

The referees association earlier said they would only return to officiate the weekly games if Cook Islands Rugby League Association take some action against the player.

Charles Carlson, the chairman of the rugby league association, on Sunday said they were “very disappointed with the referees’ decision to boycott the game at such a very short notice prior to kicking off of the season”.

“What the refs did is really irresponsible taking the matter into their hands and dictated whether the game be played or not. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen that way, CIRL runs the national game and the game is bigger than that,” Carlson said.

“Does this mean when they are not happy with a decision given by CIRL they will boycott the game again and this is not the first time they threaten CIRL so it is really childish if you ask me.”

Sean Willis said their action was not a threat.



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