Damage Done As Lebanon Pick Up The Pieces Of Hate Campaign

The Lebanese Rugby League Foundation has released a scathing open statement following the conclusion of a month long internal investigation after a letter circulated online showing that the board had been told their was a "loss of confidence" and therefore until the  "Board resigns and a new board is re-elected" that none of the participants of the highly successful World Cup squad would make themselves available.

In the fiery statement from an incredibly disappointed and furious board, they take aim at both Mr Saab and Mr Hedwan and the Sydney Morning Herald after the investigation concluded the below;

1. "No democratic decision had been taken for Mr Saab and Mr Hedwan to speak on behalf of the entire squad, which they categorically do not; and
2. there is no squad-wide boycott; and
3. the co-signatories of the letters have tried to cause reputational and material damage to the LRLF; and
4. the Sydney Morning Herald has caused severe reputational and material damage to the LRLF based on an article representing falsehoods as facts."

Further on in the article it states that one sponsor has pulled out of supporting Lebanon Rugby League all together after the negative publicity stating "the loss of sponsors, with one sponsor directly associated with the academy programme in Lebanon asking for his money to be returned. Consequently, the Lebanese academy programme in 2018 has been suspended."

It would seem that the dust will soon have settled on this situation but the damage is well and truly done as the next era of exciting young Lebanese athletes are forced to pay the price of "selfishness", Saab and Hedwan were never appointed to represent the players and their voices do not reflect the full playing group, resulting in the 2018 programme to be suspended and young players to miss what could've been their next big step in the game.

The damage doesn't stop there though, Michael Maguire reportedly turned down the position as coach of the squad after the boycott news, the story once more reported by the Sydney Morning Herald stating "The turmoil engulfing Lebanon's management has cost the nation any chance of signing premiership-winning coach Michael Maguire".

The statement from the LRLF closed with one final piece "The LRLF hereby places on record the divisive behaviour of a small group of players during the world cup. These players, through their selfishness and self-interest, have now attempted to damage the legacy of the world cup. The LRLF is and has always been a values-driven organisation that believes in its mission to positively impact upon Lebanon's civil society using rugby league as the vehicle. Its institutions have proved to be strong and it looks forward to the next exciting era of growth." no doubt more will emerge in the coming weeks, but for now it appears that the LRLF have put their foot down in this situation.



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