Australian coach Ricky Stuart will be formally investigated following a complaint he abused World Cup referee Ashley Klein and a top England official after Saturday night’s shock World Cup final loss to New Zealand.
Rugby League International Federation chairman Colin Love confirmed the RLIF would follow-up on a complaint from England’s director of referees Stuart Cummings that he and Klein were abused by Stuart in the foyer of the team’s Brisbane hotel the morning after the Kiwis downed the Kangaroos 34-20.
However he said with the English officials returning home and the Australian officials on holidays it could take weeks before any conclusions are reached.
Stuart could also be asked to explain a verbal attack on prominent Australian rugby league official Geoff Carr immediately after the game.
The Cronulla mentor had alleged a conspiracy by tournament organisers, claiming the result suited those behind the World Cup because the Kangaroos were such red-hot favourites.
Stuart was fuming over some of the decisions awarded by Australian-born Klein who was selected to control the final ahead of Australia’s Tony Archer, who two days earlier had been named the RLIF’s referee of the year.
The UK’s The Guardian newspaper carried reports saying the Rugby Football League (RFL) would lodge an official complaint over Stuart’s aggressive verbal approach to both Cummings and Klein which it said had been seen by dozens of witnesses.
Stuart offered a no comment when questioned by reporters while taking part in a charity golf event in Canberra in aid of cancer on Monday,
On Sunday Cronulla backrower Paul Gallen said Australia had been “stitched up” in a television interview.
The Kangaroos, raging favourites to win the World Cup final, were upset over a stripping decision by Klein and also a controversial penalty try awarded to the Kiwis by English video referee Steve Ganson.