Meninga to face defamation action - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Meninga to face defamation action

15/07/2011 07:12:22 PM Comments (0)

Mal Meninga's stunning rant against NSW powerbrokers and the NRL match review committee (MRC) is set for the courts after defamation proceedings were issued against the Queensland State of Origin coach.

The action against Meninga and Queensland newspapers was taken by MRC members Greg McCallum, Bradley Clyde and Peter Louis and has been backed by the NRL and its chief executive David Gallop.

Meninga was given until 5pm (AEST) on Thursday to apologise for his explosive comments, where he wrote that the series win by his side was "a victory against the very rats and filth that tried to poison a monumental team with lies, personal attacks, arrogance and disrespect".

He also suggested the MRC was part of a conspiracy against the Maroons after Johnathan Thurston and David Taylor both appeared before them during the Origin series, with Taylor being slapped with a five-game ban for a dangerous tackle.

However, the 51-year refused to back down from his statements, and on Friday afternoon the NRL released a statement confirming a claim had been filed with the Supreme Court of NSW on behalf of the committee, after attempts to find an alternative resolution proved unsuccessful.

"The NRL will support the match review committee's proceedings at least until such time as the offending statements made in relation to them are withdrawn and an apology is issued," the statement read.

Gallop said Meninga's statements were offensive to individuals who carry out important roles in the game and had complete integrity.

"This has nothing to do with interstate rivalry or a person's right to challenge a decision but it has everything to do with the fact that there are laws against falsely attacking a person's good name and reputation," Gallop said.

"Had it involved an NRL coach it would certainly have resulted in a substantial fine which may have in some way lessened the need for independent legal action from the parties involved.

"In any case it remains our responsibility to assist in protecting those people who carry out important roles for the game from baseless allegations of bias or corruption.

"The members of the match review committee are entitled to defend themselves in such a situation and are entitled to expect that the game will offer them support in the process."

NSW coach Ricky Stuart urged Meninga to apologise and stop the issue going before the courts.

"For Mal's sake and for the sake of the game, I hope this can be sorted before it reaches the Supreme Court," Stuart told the Ten Network.

NRL insiders say Clyde, McCallum and Louis are not seeking financial gain from Meninga but only wish to have their names cleared with an apology.

Calls made to Meninga and his manager Jim Banaghan by AAP on Friday evening were not returned.

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