NRL statement: spectator code of conduct breaches

NRL
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The National Rugby League (NRL) has issued banning notices to two people following alleged racial abuse of South Sydney Rabbitohs players at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

The NRL alleges disparaging comments were directed towards the players during the course of the match between St George Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The NRL has issued a notice of intention to ban for an indefinite period to the patrons under the NRL Spectator Code of Conduct.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said racist abuse would not be tolerated in the game and would be dealt with as a priority.

"Racism must be called out in all its forms because the standard you walk past is the standard you accept," Mr Abdo said.

"Abusive behaviour directed at players will not be tolerated. I commend the fans that acted on this and brought it to our attention. With this information we have been able to take action.

"Attending a rugby league match should be a positive, welcoming and respectful environment for everyone. We want everyone to feel welcome and enjoy the experience.

"The Spectator Code of Conduct has been set up specifically to deal with instances like this and we will continue to take action against any patron who displays offensive or anti-social behaviour.

"We have a strong system in place which enables us to deal with these types of comments quickly and decisively. The system also enables other spectators to be confident enough to report inappropriate comments, which in this case has allowed us to act.

"As a game we need to stand with our players and ensure they are treated with respect at all times. We will continue to protect players in their place of work."

The Spectator Code of Conduct has been designed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of players, Club personnel, match officials and fans at all NRL events and matches hosted by the NRL and the Clubs.

The Code is available online at NRL.com (https://www.nrl.com/tickets/nrl-spectator-code-of-conduct/) for the information of all spectators and is referred to in the NRL and Club Event Terms and Conditions that apply whenever match tickets are purchased (https://www.nrl.com/tickets/event-terms-and-conditions/).

Both patrons will have five business days to respond to the notices.