July 20, 2024

NRL’s warning as CEO of Warriors sponsor makes public apology for ‘baseless’ referee accusation

CEO of major Warriors sponsor One NZ, Jason Paris, has issued a public apology after “unacceptable” comments questioning the integrity of referees in the wake of the team’s 18-6 loss to Penrith at Magic Round.

Paris was highly critical of the refereeing in the game on social media platform Twitter, at one point accusing match officials of “cheating of the highest order” after the defeat.

“Are you kidding me? How biased are the @NRL bunker and referees against the @NZWarriors? Have they got money on them to lose? It’s like we are permanently against 14 on the field and they want us to play with 12,” Paris wrote in one tweet.

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“Imagine how the team feel – three games in 11 days and then this rubbish. Cheating of the highest order,” Paris also replied to another user’s tweet.

Two Warriors players were sent to the sin bin in the game, with the decision to give Demitric Sifakula his marching orders for striking out at Nathan Cleary the most contentious.

The NRL confirmed at the time it was aware of Paris’ comments and would “review them closely”, releasing a statement on the matter on Friday afternoon.


In it, the league confirmed that it had raised its concerns with Paris and that he had “agreed to unconditionally withdraw those statements and issue a public apology”.

“The NRL understands that Mr Paris has also reached agreement with the NRL referees and match officials concerned, and the match officials’ association, the PRLMO,” the statement added.

“Respecting and protecting NRL referees and match officials is a matter of critical importance to the NRL. While there may be differences of view about particular decisions made during a game, comments that call into question the integrity or honesty of NRL referees and match officials are baseless and unacceptable.

“The NRL considers this matter closed, but all those associated with the game should know that any comments that call into question the integrity of NRL referees and match officials will not be tolerated in our game.”

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