Extraordinary Move Sees Entire Lebanon Rugby Team Suspended
Seventeen players have been suspended by the Lebanese Rugby League Federation.
A statement released by the federation said it had charged 17 persons with misconduct for breaches of its operational rules in relation to events surrounding the June 22 Test Match versus Fiji.
Those charged will be asked to appear before a Misconduct Panel and have been suspended with immediate effect from all Lebanese rugby league activity pending the outcome of misconduct proceedings.
The 17 charged are Adam Douehi, Toufic El Hajj, Michel El Tom, Ahmad Ellaz, Robbie Farah, Nick Kassis, Anthony Layoun, Michael Lichaa, Bilal Maarbani, Tim Mannah, Josh Mansour, Abbas Miski, Mitchel Moses, James Roumanos, Chris Saab, Ali Saad and George Yazbek.
The statement comes after Cedars coach Rick Stone said, just last month, he expected tensions between the playing group and federation to ease.
The Lebanese players had originally stated their intentions to place tape over the cedar-tree logo as a protest, but after the governing body threatened prosecution, including fines, suspensions and even imprisonment, the protest was withdrawn.
Members of the Cedars squad met with Rugby League International Federation officials ahead of their clash against Fiji last month in an attempt to ease the conflict.
"I think we'll reach a resolution with the International Rugby League Federation board involved," Stone told AAP.
"If [the Lebanese players] can get a couple things they're after then I think that'll be a good result.
Farah has been vocal of his criticism of the politics behind the game.
"We're pretty adamant we need change at the top level. There's things that have gone on that just aren't right and there are people involved there that are doing things the wrong way," he told nrl.com in June.
More to come.