RFL warns of exodus over visa drama - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

RFL warns of exodus over visa drama

By Laine Clark 25/08/2009 07:41:45 PM Comments (0)

More Super League players could be deported from the UK after it was revealed 13 other clubs employed players with the same visas as the besieged Celtic Crusaders.

Criminal charges may yet be laid against Celtic after immigration officials found six Australian Crusaders players - including ex-Queensland Origin back Josh Hannay - were illegally in the UK.

The UK Border Agency found they played illegally under working holiday or student visas between 2006 and 2008 when the Crusaders were building towards their successful application for a Super League licence.

The players have been ordered to leave the country by September 7.

However, the UK's Rugby Football League (RFL) have warned that others may follow.

"This could affect other clubs because of the visas some players are on," RFL communications manager Craig Spence told the UK's Super League Show.

"It is not good for the game and we are looking forward to receiving the UK Border Agency's report.

The RFL have launched their own investigation into the Crusaders visa scandal.

"This issue is regarding players being on working or holiday-maker visas from the 2006 and 2007 seasons," Spence said.

"Now we've looked into it and there are 13 other clubs that employ players on the same visas.

"So we need to find out why these six players are being singled out or have they done something wrong with their visa applications and that's why they've been deported.

"I think the UK Border Agency need to be clearer on their current rules.

"They have changed their rules here three times in the last nine years."

In the first game without the six key players, a young Celtic team were thrashed 68-0 by Leeds last round.

But Celtic coach - former Brisbane Broncos assistant John Dixon - was trying to put on a brave front.

"It was a sad week for us, we lost six players who have been an integral part of the club," he said.

"The club's going to thrive because (of the help of the six players) ... the sad part is they won't be part of it.

"(The six players) did a wonderful job in laying down the foundations for rugby league in Wales and for us as a club.

While the club is reportedly recruiting for 2010, the visa drama could threaten Celtic's hopes of retaining their Super League permit.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news