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8 hours ago - 8 Likes
New Zealand Rugby League executive chairman Selwyn Bennett has resigned over the Nathan Fen "granny gate" debacle.
Bennett announced his decision after the Kiwis were stripped of their only two Tri-Nations competition points yesterday and forced to drop Fien from their squad.
The Kiwis had initially claimed Australian-born Fien's grandmother was born in New Zealand, which would have allowed him to switch allegiances, but it was later revealed the birth certificate he provided belonged to his great-grandmother.
The Rugby League International Federation panel that investigated the case found the NZRL was aware the certificate belonged to Fien's great-grandmother, which made him ineligible for selection, but did not disclose the fact.
"I've given my resignation, effective immediately, and taken the blame for it - over and out," Bennett said.
"I was the one who made the decision. It was my call, my responsibility."
Surprisingly, Bennett said he would do it all again.
"I still believe I was right in what I did. I have no problem with great grandmothers or grandmothers, call them what you like.
"I would do the same again. In hindsight I would probably make the same decision."
Asked if he thought the "granny-gate" scandal had damaged the game, Bennett said: "I don't think so, it certainly has given the game a lot of profile.
"Everyone knows the game of rugby league is around.
"Put it this way, there's no damage done that I regret."
Bennett said he had already tendered his resignation to the NZRL and that deputy chairman Peter Douglas had taken over the reins until a new leader was decided.