CRL appeal lodged

GIMBISI Valley Warriors have lodged an appeal against the decision handed down by the general committee of Group 2 Rugby League to suspend them from the balance of the 2005 competition.

The club's first objection is they believe the decision is wrong.

Gimbisi believe they did not bring the game into disrepute.

In a statement issued yesterday by Wrights Legal Commercial Lawyers the club states their behaviour at Port Macquarie was wrong for which they have publicly and privately apologised to those concerned and stands by these apologies.

Further they feel this behaviour is neither more nor less than the behaviour of other Group 2 clubs who haven't been found guilty of the same charge.

The suspension penalises the majority of the club including reserves, under-18s, sponsors and first grade for the actions of a minority.

They also believe the club was unfairly treated during the disciplinary process and wants its chance to put its side of the story.

They say they have been unfairly blindsided by the committee and it is unfair to charge and convict a club with one offence and then punish them for an unproven allegation.

Gimbisi feel that if the committee wants to raise crowd behaviour as an issue it should be done fairly and squarely to give the club an opportunity to respond. An appeals committee at CRL will review the case and decide whether Gimbisi should be allowed to appeal.

If the appeal is allowed then it will be a fresh hearing of the original matter which was the subject of complaint.

Traditional grounds for appeal to CRL from a Group decision are that fresh evidence be provided which was not available at the time of the decision and where there has been a denial of natural justice.

The Gimbisi club believes that both grounds apply in this case.

Gimbisi Valley Warriors strongly refute the claim.

The club is now awaiting the CRL's decision as to whether the appeal can proceed.

They hope the appeal will be successful so it can showcase the brand of football and general behaviour which all clubs and administrators want in the Group 2 competition.

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