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Queensland Premier Peter Beattie today joined the call for Referee Bill Harrigan's sacking for remainder of this year's State of Origin series.
The Brisbane Sunday Mail reports that Mr Beattie said Harrigan 'must pay' for his blunders in State of Origin I. "We want a fair go..." Mr Beattie said "The only way to do this is give Bill a rest..." The State Premier points the trivial sin binning of Qld captain, Gorden Tallis in last Wednesday's match.
"No matter how one eyed you are or whether you are a Premier with state pride on the line it was the wrong decision. Even the most biased Blues supporter on the other side would agree."
Mr Beattie also said that Harrigan's apology for the send-off in which he urged selectors not to let the 10-minute suspension prevent Tallis from becoming Australian captain showed character and strength for which the leading referee should be admired.
"But everyone needs to pay a price and I think the price should be the next two State of Origin matches" he said. It has also come to light that Tallis forgot or refused to shake Harrigan's hand after the coin toss. The extraordinary claim being that Harrigan took this as an insult. Tallis said that he had been too focussed on the match to remember to shake the referee's hand. Harrigan has refused to comment of this latest report and has preferred to 'let the matter lie'. Earlier this week QRL boss, Ross Livermore was also calling for Harrigan to step aside claiming that the he had now become more interested on his media profile than doing his job as referee. Livermore said that Harrigan's actions "smacked of arrogance".