In the wake of their 22 – 18 loss to the Kiwis in the Four Nations final, Australian national rugby league team the Kangaroos have been barred from returning to Australia as the country struggles to come to terms with the disappointing result.
The move by the Australian Government to cancel the passports of the entire Kangaroos squad comes on the back of the controversial decision to allow the Australian cricket team back in the country following their whitewash series loss to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates recently.
Speaking from the G20 summit in Brisbane yesterday, Tony Abbott conceded that they had made the call to cancel the passports to avoid the Kangaroos suffering the kind of public backlash that the Australian cricket team have faced in recent days. “Look, at the end of the day we made a mistake by letting Michael Clarke and the cricket team back in the country after they were completely un-Australian and capitulated without firing a shot against Pakistan,” said Prime Minister Abbott. “As a result, we knew that if we made the same mistake again by letting another highly favourited, but ultimately unsuccessful sporting team back in the country, the impact could see us lower our standards for all other national sporting codes.”
Abbott went on to elaborate that, “We need to send a clear message to our athletes that failure is simply not acceptable when wearing our national colours. We’ve already lowered our standards by continually letting the Wallabies back into the country, despite them having no achieved anything worth while since 1999, and we’re determined not to let the rot of sporting incompetence spread any further.”
For their part, the Kangaroos seem resigned to their fate, with several players still having to be transported around the airport on stretchers while in the foetal position, having not recovered from the shock of being beaten by the Kiwis twice in one year.