RFL response on Ralph Rimmer comments about Fijian Rugby League World Cup squad

Despite a brilliant Grand Final between St Helens and Leeds, the promotion of a star-studded Leigh side to Super League and the most inclusive World Cup in rugby league history, one other story has dominated social media and wider discussions in rugby league recently.

This comes from comments Ralph Rimmer made about the Fiji squad last week.

Rimmer is the current Chief Executive of the RFL and was speaking last Monday at an awards night for the Championship and League 1 clubs which was broadcast live on the OurLeague app.

A brilliant night which saw stars of the future like George Roby recognised, clubs like Barrow given their credit and star Edwin Ipape crowned as Championship Player of the Year.

Speaking at the event, Rimmer spoke proudly about what the sport had achieved in 2022 as well as what will be an amazing World Cup as the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments take place alongside each other.

On the World Cup, Rimmer revealed in his speech that the Fiji squad had arrived in the UK ahead of the tournament.

He said: “Fiji have already arrived. We don’t think anybody has been arrested yet, do we?

“No, we’re alright, so we’re going pretty well then.”

Since then, Rimmer has offered an apology saying he instantly regretted the remark. However, this has done little to stem the tide with pressure mounting from fans for him to resign.

When approached by Serious About Rugby League, the RFL stated that they are following the procedures in place as an official spokesperson of the RFL said: “The RFL Board has procedures in place as to how to respond, and the chair (Simon Johnson) is following those procedures. In accordance with those procedures, no other comment can be made.”

Unfortunately for our great game, this story has been dominating headlines at such an exciting time of year however it seems that the RFL is working to find the solution and that an update should be available soon.

Nonetheless, pressure continues to mount with the head of Kick it Out, an organisation in football designed to stamp out racism and promote inclusivity, has had his say.

Responding to a very informative break down of the incident from Andrew Foster on Twitter, head of Kick it Out, Troy Townsend said:

“When you believe you are untouchable you basically can say what you want, when you want, how you want, in-front of who you want?

“I always wonder, what is said behind the scenes if someone is brazen enough to talk in this way publicly.”

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Stevenson
Stevenson
2 months ago

Why couldn’t he just do a proper speech as a professional CEO? He said he instantly regretted the comment – but he grins and looks around the room for those also laughing? He has regretted being called out and the impact it might have on his next jobs more likely. If the RFL don’t find him guilty of racism they have to find him guilty of being a complete idiot unfit to do CEO speeches and who has brought the sport into disrepute by being an idiot. That’s almost as bad.