By Wayne SmithAUSTRALIA has been warned it will face a backlash from the public if it doesn’t stop the “disrespect” of its national football teams by not taking a stand against a controversial statue of former Australian cricket star George Bailey.
In an exclusive interview with The Age, former Australian captain James Faulkner said he was “disgusted” that the state of Australian sport had become “a joke”.
The issue was raised by the Australian Football League (AFL) and the ACT Government after the death of the Queensland-born Bailey, who was also a former champion cricket player and coach.
“The state of football in Australia is a joke,” Faulkners comments.
Faulkner played for Sydney Roosters from 1977 to 1992. “
I’m disgusted that it has become a joke, a bit like how the Queensland Government got away with trying to sell the state as a football state.”
Faulkner played for Sydney Roosters from 1977 to 1992.
He said he hoped “every Australian” would come together and support the AFL and the AFLPA over the statue controversy.
“They [the AFL and AFLPA] are trying to paint me in a bad light and I think that’s not fair,” Faulker said.
If there is no support for that, I’m going to be disappointed with the game.””
It’s all about the game, and that’s what I want to see in football.”
If there is no support for that, I’m going to be disappointed with the game.
“The AFL and AFLPPA have both made it clear that they do not want to make a “proud stand” on the issue.
The AFL and AFLPPA are both seeking to raise money for the memorial and have been seeking support from local community groups to fund the monument.
The AFLPA said it was seeking $50,000 to $60,000 for the statue.