It’s a sad state of affairs, but police have warned the NRL over gang culture as shocking events continue to unfold at a junior level.
In Sydney, the opening rounds of the junior representative season have seen a shocking number of fights both on and off the field with gang members allegedly taking aim at each other.
The NSWRL has already issued Code of Conduct breach notices to five players, officials and spectators this week following a series of incidents and now the police have warned that the problem could get worse.
“It’s the perfect storm for gangs – they known when and where games are being held and who is playing,” a police source told Wide World of Sports.
“These gangs are organised and dangerous and security at junior league grounds is not overly strong.
“Gang members see the footy as the ideal place to settle scores and put claims on their turf.
“If it isn’t clamped down on soon, the NRL and NSW Rugby League will have real problems on their hands – if they don’t already.”
But, Sydney clubs are signing teenagers without properly looking into the people themselves which has spelled disaster.
“They sign these kids at 14 and 15 and don’t really look into their backgrounds or affiliations,” one NRL club CEO told Wide World of Sports.
“It’s all about winning and signing the best players – nothing about their character and off-field behaviour and it will come back to bite the clubs concerned.”