Former Super League referee and former director of match officials Stuart Cummings has launched a scathing attack on the Four Nations board after their controversial refereeing selections this weekend – stating that “we have gone backwards” in terms of appointing match officials.
Cummings was on the three-man panel that oversaw the match official appointments at last year’s World Cup – a tournament that had a neutral referee in every single game that took place across the entirety of the tournament.
But after Australian Gerard Sutton was picked to officiate England’s game against Australia, and New Zealander Henry Perenara was given the task of taking charge of the Kiwis’ game against Samoa, Cummings believes questions must be asked about the process.
“What the hell has happened to international referee appointments? The World Cup had neutral referees in every game. We have gone backwards,” he told The Guardian.
“And what is the criteria that decided that Gerry Sutton performed better than Phil Bentham? Because I and many others over here can’t see it. Jon Sharp may as well come home as he will be out-voted each week.”