RL: LINDSAY CRITICISES ARL'S DESCRIPTION OF SUPER LEAGUE
LEAGUE SUPER NIGHTLEAD
By Steele Tallon of AAP
SUVA, Fiji, Feb 20 AAP - Super League World Board chairman
Maurice Lindsay today described as insulting and disrespectful
Australian Rugby League (ARL) chairman Ken Arthurson's description
of the breakaway competition as a fly-by-night organisation.
Speaking after a two-day Super League World Board meeting here,
Lindsay said he would not "respond in kind" to Arthurson's
comments, indicating he would leave it to the Super League's
players to respond on the field.
Arthurson, in a media statement today, predicted a "buoyant"
1996 ARL premiership would wash away the bitterness and resentment
of last season.
"The rugby league public could have become disillusioned with
Murdoch League now that its proposed competition structure of being
the 'Best of the Best' has become so obviously transparent,"
Arthurson said in the statement.
"We're (the ARL) not some fly-by-night organisation put together
with false hopes and built on shifting sand.
"The ARL is an established competition. When we say we are
starting, we are starting the ARL Premiership as planned."
Lindsay said he was saddened by Arthurson's "cheap shots".
"We're on different sides of the fence and we have different
races to run but there's no need to be disrespectful or insulting,
especially when he is way off the mark.
"How can he call an organisation comprising clubs the quality of
Canberra, Brisbane, Wigan and Auckland ... fly-by-nighters is
Lindsay said the Super League World Nines tournament, starting
here on Thursday and featuring 16 national representative teams,
would show the rugby league world that the News Limited-backed
competition was a serious proposition.
"We'll let the players do the talking for us when this
tournament starts later this week," he said.
"I'm sure we're going to see some dazzling rugby league from the
best players in the world, no doubt.
"And that will just be the start of things."
Players from the 16 nations competing in the World Nines
attended a welcoming Fijian feast here tonight.
The favoured semi-finalists for the tournament, which will
feature games played over nine minute halves, are Australia,
England, New Zealand and host nation Fiji.
Pool matches start 9am (AEDT) Thursday with all matches played
at the National Stadium in Suva. The Grand Final is set down for
4.30pm (AEDT) Saturday.
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