Tahu complaint put in writing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tahu complaint put in writing

By David Beniuk 08/10/2010 07:23:04 PM Comments (0)

A formal complaint has been lodged accusing Parramatta star Timana Tahu of making a racial slur to an Aboriginal teenager last weekend.

ARL Indigenous Council chairman William "Smiley" Johnstone will attempt to meet both parties in the dispute after receiving a written report from country club Northern United.

The report lists claims that Tahu called 16-year-old opponent Caleb Binge a "black c***" while playing in an indigenous knockout competition on the NSW central coast.

Tahu has described the claims as "laughable", saying he is paying the price for his stance against the use of the same slur by league great Andrew Johns in the Blues State of Origin camp in June.

Tahu quit the camp in protest at Johns using the offensive phrase to describe Queensland star Greg Inglis.

ARL chief executive Geoff Carr met Johnstone on Friday as the Indigenous Council chairman prepared to head to Ballina to meet Northern officials.

"He knows we have to move reasonably quickly," Carr told AAP.

"I don't think he wants to do the whole lot in the glare of publicity.

"He wants to get it done with as little fuss as possible."

Carr said the initial meetings, if successful, would be the first step in a two-part process.

"Under the racial vilification policy, conciliation of the parties is part of that and it's generally done by a nominee from the Human Rights Commission," he said.

"But that will be the second part of the process.

"The first part of the process is for Smiley to speak to the parties individually."

It remains unclear whether Tahu will cooperate with the process after his strenuous denials, although he knows Johnstone well.

The 29-year-old could not be contacted on Friday and his manager Warrick Wright did not return AAP's call, while Parramatta chief executive Paul Osborne said he had "no idea" whether Tahu would be part of the process.

"We're not involved," Osborne said.

Tahu is off-contract with the Eels but Osborne said the latest controversy would not necessarily affect negotiations.

"Not at this point," he said.

"The club has had a number of approaches from people coming out in support of Timana, (people) that were there.

"I think it's best that it be dealt with by the experts."

The dual international's tumultuous year will take another turn next weekend after he was named in the New Zealand Maori side to play England in Auckland.

Tahu, whose mother is Aboriginal, has previously said he wishes to honour his late father, a Maori, by turning out for the side.

He was this week left out of the Australian squad for the Four Nations series beginning in two weeks.

His appearance for the Maori will add to Test matches for the Kangaroos and Wallabies and appearances for NSW in both league and union.

He is also eligible for the Indigenous All Stars side which will play the NRL All Stars on February 12.

"They're heritage games, they're not internationals," Carr said of the Maori match.

"He's not playing for his country and the qualification required to represent the Maori or the Indigenous All Stars is you've got to have Maori heritage or indigenous heritage.

"Timana is clearly qualified for both."

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