English rugby league boss Ralph Rimmer avoids penalty for Fiji comments

English Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer has escaped any sanctions for inappropriate comments about Fiji.

At an awards dinner in Leeds in late September, Rimmer discussed Fiji’s preparations for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup: “Fiji have already arrived. We don’t think anybody has been arrested yet, do we? No, we’re all right, so we are going pretty well then.”

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RFL chair Simon Johnson led an investigation after a complaint, and a 21-page report was submitted.

The report said the language was unacceptable, any insult to Fiji by Rimmer was unintended, and Fiji accepted Rimmer’s apology.

“Noting the agreement of all consulted that there was no intent in the use of the unacceptable language; that a fulsome apology was issued and accepted; and taking into account relevant and applicable precedent, from other sports and previous RFL compliance investigations, the decision of the chair is that no formal disciplinary action is appropriate,” the RFL said in a statement.

Rimmer announced last month he intends to step down at the end of the year.

Fiji lost to England 50-0 in a warmup on Friday, and plays Australia in the World Cup on opening day Oct. 15 in Leeds.

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