The Queensland government is growing increasingly angry with the NRL and footage has just been revealed that shows exactly why.
The government’s relationship with the NRL had already been tested by Jai Arrow welcoming a woman into Queensland’s State of Origin camp, Apisai Koroisau doing the same at NSW’s set-up and the Dragons’ infamous barbecue.
Officials now have another reason to be mad after footage emerged of families in the NRL’s Gold Coast bubble passing items between balconies, in blatant flouting of COVID-19 protocols.
When Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young was asked if she was weighing up abandoning the arrangement, she made herself very clear.
“I’m getting very close to it,” Dr Young said.
“I’m very, very concerned about what is happening with these NRL players.
“This is too risky. We just cannot have people deliberately breaching the rules.”
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo had a phone hook-up with the families last night to reiterate the importance of following COVID-19 protocols.
It came after one hotel gave a warning via its intercom to not pass items between floors and balconies.
ARLC chairman Peter V’landys has delivered families a stern message.
“Anyone who’s breached the bubble and put the game and the income of fellow players at risk will be heavily penalised if the allegations are proven true,” V’landys said on 2GB.
“It was first brought to the attention of the NSWRL yesterday who then referred it to the integrity department. We haven’t really had a chance to investigate it and see the veracity of the allegations.
“We certainly penalised the St George Illawarra team and Jai Arrow and it will be no different if these allegations are proven. At the moment they are just allegations and we need to investigate them.”
Meanwhile, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary told reporters he had spoken with Koroisau and said the club would provide his wife, who’s now in Queensland, with full support.
Koroisau has been slapped with a two-match ban and a $35,000 fine.
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