Australia

Michael Lichaa: NRL faces new demands to scrap no-fault standdown rule

Rugby league’s no-fault stand-down rule has been denounced again, and Michael Richer’s lawyers have called for it to be scrapped after it was revealed that the former Bulldog was blocked from playing park football last year.

Lichaa, 29, was forced to retire from the game he loves during an 18-month legal battle to clear his name.

The former Lebanese international’s world was turned upside down last February when he was charged with a string of crimes following a late-night incident at his Connells Point home.

However, it has now been revealed that Richer was blocked from playing Park Footy after being indicted when NSWRL refused to register his contract.

In 2019, the NRL introduced a no-fault standdown rule, automatically ejecting players with serious criminal charges punishable by up to 11 years in prison.

NSWRL has adopted similar guidelines.

A spokesman for NSWRL said: “NSWRL did not register the deal last season after Michael Richer was charged with several serious crimes, including common assault and threats, for damaging the reputation of the game.” said.

“NSWRL has reviewed the situation this season and has registered Richer’s contract.”

Richer’s 113-game career with the NRL ended in 2019 when Canterbury did not offer him a contract for the following year.

He did not sign a contract with a rival club and signed on to play for Cronulla Kalimba in the Sydney Shield.

However, his career was put on hold while he battled the charges after NSWRL refused to register the contract.

Lichaa was finally acquitted on Friday. His former partner refused to testify against him.

Lichaa was acquitted of general assault and intimidation charges but pleaded guilty to one charge of vandalizing property after hitting a glass door.

Sutherland District Court was told last week that he has retired from rugby league and is now working as a project manager.

Sam Saadat represented former Cronulla and Canterbury prostitutes during an 18-month ordeal of terror.

He said he understood the intent behind the no-fault rule, but argued it didn’t have the effect it was supposed to.

In the summer of 2018-2019, the NRL was hit by a series of scandals (17 cases and allegations between September and mid-February) that prompted then-ARLC President Peter Beattie to draft rules. became.

But Saadat, who is also heavily involved in rugby league and has been a women’s and developmental coach for the Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters, said the rules needed to be reconsidered.

“I understand where the NSWRL and NRL are coming from, but I think it needs to be revisited. If you look at the examples…almost everyone was acquitted,” he said.

“As a result, I think stigma goes way beyond what the policy is about when you look at the impact it has on their careers and their mental health.

“The game has the right to govern itself as it pleases, and federal courts ruled when (Jack) Deverin challenged that. But I think they should reconsider that decision.” Now we have examples where it didn’t work.”

Tristan Sailor, Dylan Walker, and Tui Kamikamika were all acquitted after being charged with police or before the charges were dismissed.

De Verin didn’t play in the entire 2019 and 2020 NRL seasons until midway through last year, when the Attorney General chose not to pursue a third sexual assault trial. it was done.

Two jurors were unable to reach a verdict, but he and co-indicted Callan Sinclair were acquitted of one charge at the second trial.

Manase Fainu, who is on trial in the Parramatta District Court, pleaded not guilty to being injured with intent to cause serious bodily harm and denied stabbing a church youth leader in the back. .

Penrith’s Tyrone May was the only player convicted under this policy.

He narrowly escaped prison after pleading guilty to four counts of intentionally recording intimate images without consent.

Saadat called on the NRL to hold a meeting between players, managers and lawyers to review the policy.

“Games should reflect society,” he said.

“By law, everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence.

“In this case, even being described as a no-fault policy is a bit of a disadvantage. It creates an impression in people’s minds that they must be guilty.

first published as ‘Disadvantages’: Michael Richer’s attorney calls on NRL to end ‘unfair’ policies

Michael Lichaa: NRL faces new demands to scrap no-fault standdown rule

Source link Michael Lichaa: NRL faces new demands to scrap no-fault standdown rule

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