Mifsud takes rumour blame
Wednesday, 4th April, 2012
MELBOURNE - AFL community engagement officer Jason Mifsud has taken the blame for spreading untrue rumours about Melbourne coach Mark Neeld’s treatment of indigenous players.
Mifsud, who is himself indigenous, publicly apologised unreservedly to Neeld yesterday and has been counselled by the AFL.
Neeld was furious over the rumour, in which he is alleged to have spoken with the Demons’ non-indigenous players individually over the pre-season, but only addressed indigenous players as a group.
That allegation was made public in an online column written by ex-St Kilda coach Grant Thomas on Monday, although Thomas later withdrew it after receiving a phone call from Neeld.
Mifsud revealed yesterday that he was the one who had given Thomas the information.
Mifsud refused to say who had made the allegation to him, but said he had since found out it was untrue.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, sitting alongside Mifsud at a press conference yesterday, said the original source of the rumour was in the AFL industry, but not a part of the AFL organisation itself.
Mifsud offered his resignation to Demetriou yesterday but it was rejected.
Demetriou said the person who provided the information to Mifsud would not be sanctioned by the AFL.
Earlier yesterday, Demons co-captain Jack Grimes said the Demons players had been shocked when Neeld told them on Monday about the rumour.