July 18, 2019

NRL Betting Scandal set to blow Rugby League apart

What is that ticking I hear? Maybe it is time to saddle up and 'Gallop' out of here while there is still time.

The NRL betting scandal is gathering pace with Police arranging interviews with North Queensland Cowboys players about allegations of ‘spot fixing’.

Cowboys football manager Peter Parr has confirmed “Police have been in touch with us. They want to speak with everyone who played in that game, from both sides.”

Some Canterbury Bulldogs players have already been interviewed but still more are being lined up for next week. Each player will be asked for a statement and to give their version of the events.

The round 24 match between the Bulldogs and the Cowboys is the subject of the police investigation with allegations that some players contrived to have a penalty goal from North Queensland as the first score of the match. The shot was not taken but bookies claim that abnormally large amounts of money were put on the penalty goal.

With emails and text messages flying around the rugby league world we are only hours away from the players being named despite the investigation being only part way through.

Media outlets have kept a respectful silence about the star players under scrutiny. This is driven by fear of libel action if the police can’t gather enough evidence and letting the NRL have the spotlight on the Grand Final not spot fixing.

Former Kiwis captain Richie Barnett claims the full extent of the NRL betting scandal will be revealed to the public on Monday. Sydney Police are expected to reveal several high profile players involved in a betting sting once the grand final is over on Sunday night.

NRL chief executive David Gallop earlier this month threatened life bans on any players or officials implicated in the betting scandal. “In terms of individuals, obviously life bans are available to us and if this type of thing is proven then you would have to say that’s very much on the cards.”

If Gallop is true to his word then it is a great opportunity to demonstrate to the other players and the fans that no player no matter how famous is bigger than the game.

Willie Mason, Aaron Payne, Hassan Saleh, Ryan Tandy and Johnathan Thurston and co will be sweating it out this weekend wondering if their names will be read out on the ‘list of death’. Career death that is.