Brian Carney questions NRL decision making over Ben Barba ban

Drew Darbyshire

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Sky Sports’ Brian Carney has questioned the NRL’s decision to hand Ben Barba a lifetime ban, claiming they have gone back on their word. 

Barba was sacked by North Queensland Cowboys last Friday after CCTV footage confirmed his altercation with his partner outside a Townsville casino.

The 29-year-old was yet to play a single game for the Cowboys, but Carney has questioned the NRL’s decision to ban him for life.

Carney told Sky Sports News: “I have a problem with the mechanics of the decision making in the NRL, how they came to this decision to give him a lifetime ban.

“I can read you a quote from 12 months ago where Todd Greenberg didn’t believe in rubbing people out of the game for their lifetime. Look at the Matthew Lodge incident in New York where he terrorised a family and a nine-year-old child.

“Greenberg said publicly that rugby league is a sport that gives people who have committed grave errors a second chance, so my problem is that, while there is still a police investigation into this incident, the NRL have issued a lifetime ban for the first time in the competition’s history.

“They have set a precedent now, pulled it out of nowhere. I believe they have been to reactionary on this and they have been followed by the Super League and the RFL governing bodies.”