Racist fan fails apology, NRL slaps on 5 year ban

The Eels fan who taunted NRL prop Petero Civoniceva with “monkey” calls and told him to “get back into your tree” has been publicly humiliated and handed a 5-year ban from all NRL games, after making a poor attempt at an apology for his outburst at the weekends game.

The Eels fan after being captured on Channel 9 footage and identified soon after, today submitted an attempted apology to the Penrith Panthers.

But Parramatta CEO Denis Fitzgerald said the apology didn’t get close to being reasonable, and agreed with the NRL’s ban of 5 years. It’s good to see Denis making a smart comment for a change, the public are so used to hearing ridiculous remarks from Fitzgerald but it seems for the first time in years he makes sense.

“The person in question who racially taunted Petero Civoniceva, has passed on only an apology of sorts,” Fitzgerald said.

“You would not call it a good apology, and the NRL has banned that person from attending any NRL match until 2013.

“So essentially a 5-year ban.”

“I think it sends out the right message to all, that racial vilification will not be accepted on the NRL field or in the stands or at any NRL event or match.

Panther Petero Civoniceva is currently on leave from training for a few days and is expected to review the apology towards the end of this week; many believe he will not accept this poorly drafted apology from the offender.

NRL CEO David Gallop said the ban is the right move and sends the hard line message loudly and clearly to all fans.

“Its an easy message, the NRL won’t cop racial abuse against our players,” Gallop said.

“Aided by the NSW Police, the NRL has a strong structure to throw a net around the trouble makers, who can be removed quickly and it is one that works in the interest of all fans and players.

“I thank both the Parramatta club and the NSW Police for their swift and efficient dealing with this ugly situation.”

Its expected Police will not lay charges, but a breach of the ban could lead to prosecution and a further life ban.

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