Iemma fears Swans umpiring 'conspiracy' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Iemma fears Swans umpiring 'conspiracy'

By Tom Wald 07/09/2005 07:38:44 PM Comments (0)

NSW premier Morris Iemma claims there could be a conspiracy against Sydney after the Swans copped the brunt of some controversial AFL decisions last weekend.

The recently-appointed premier also showed a brilliant political sleight of hand by receiving a Swans jumper with his name on the back just a month after declaring himself a long-time Collingwood fan.

Iemma played the role of straight shooter, deploring the effort of the umpires in Sydney's four-point loss to West Coast in Perth in Friday night's qualifying final.

"I am also a St George rugby league supporter and I will tell you about the umpiring in the Swans game, it was on a par with the refereeing of the 1999 (NRL) grand final between St George and Melbourne," he told reporters.

"St George was robbed blind by some appalling refereeing decisions and the umpiring was on a par with that."

A reversed free kick for an innocuous bump between Leo Barry and Tyson Stenglein and a missed free kick for an apparent trip on Adam Goodes in the final quarter left Swans fans seeing red.

When asked if there was a conspiracy against NSW, Iemma replied: "Look one could believe in conspiracies if one was of that bent.

"I can tell you it wasn't the best effort that the AFL umpires have put on this year that effort on Friday night. Yes you could be conspiratorial and say there was a conspiracy against Sydney."

Paul Roos smiled as Iemma spoke, as the Swans coach would have been slapped with a heavy fine from the AFL for making similar comments.

The Labor leader then challenged Victorian premier Steve Bracks, a noted Geelong fan, on the outcome of Friday night's semi-final between the Swans and the Cats at the SCG.

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