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Holau's league bid avenges as Tonga bosses suspend



Sydney – Volleyball's freelance Wall Street player, Israel's Holau's attempt to revive his career playing rugby league for Tonga, failed when officials backing the plan were suspended over unrelated matters.

The International Rugby League (RLIF) has announced that it has terminated Tonga's rugby league board over concerns raised by players and the Prime Minister of the Pacific.

"Based on the volume and size of the submissions received, the board (RLIF) decided that it should intervene immediately," the statement said.

Holau, fired from Australian rugby for posting on social networks warning of 'hell-baiting' gays and other sinners, has been working with Tongan officials on a bold plan to play rugby league for the country in upcoming tests against Australia and the UK.

But the 30-year-old seems to have unwittingly inserted himself into a fierce struggle for power over control of Tonga sports, and ended up on the losing side.

As his former teammate at Volabis, fighting for World Cup rugby in Japan, Holau faces frozen second-tier sports code.

The Australian newspaper reported that the board's suspension effectively left the Holau League bid "dead and buried", while the Sydney Morning Herald said it was "all over".

Tonga players are outraged when the board sacked coach Christian Woolf last month over a financial dispute, threatening to boycott the upcoming internationals.

Acting Tonga Prime Minister Semi Sika wrote to RLIF, expressing concern over the situation and calling on the board to step down.

The situation was complicated this week when Holau announced his plan to join Tonga, blinding RLIF with the false claim that he had let him play.

The deputy director of the RLIF, Australia's Peter Betty, had previously said that Holau "fails in the culture of NRL inclusivity" and would not be welcome in the sport.

Betty supported the suspension of the Tonga board, which was Holau's main supporter.

"It is impossible to continue with a national administration that has no support from its government or players," he said.

The Australian National Rugby League announced on its website that Wolfe and the dissident players were determined to return as a result of the board's suspension.

Holau seeks millions of dollars in rugby compensation from Australia and NSW Rugby, claiming he was unlawfully fired for expressing views in line with his pious Christian beliefs.

The governing body says Holau violated a player code of conduct by making anti-gay comments on social media.


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