NRL set to clear Sivo for Eels’ season opener
EELS superstar Maika Sivo will not be stood down under the NRL's no-fault policy, with the flying Fijian set to be cleared to play for Parramatta in Round 1 of the 2020 Telstra Premiership season.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg is expected to rubber-stamp Sivo's availability, despite NRL's leading try-scorer from 2019 facing charges in his home country.
Sivo was charged with indecent annoyance in Fiji for allegedly touching the skirt of a waitress on Boxing Day last year.
The 26-year-old's charge was later upgraded to indecent assault and Sivo had to apply for a travel ban to be lifted to allow him to fly back home from Fiji to train with the Eels.
The NRL was due to hand down a verdict on February 17, before the matter was adjourned until March 12, which ironically is the opening day of the 2020 season.
The Eels and the Bulldogs will kick off the season in a Thursday night clash at Bankwest Stadium.
Sivo is not required to appear in court on March 12, which will enable him to play in the season opener.
The NRL allowed Sivo to play in the Perth Nines tournament and are expected to do the same for the clash with the Bulldogs.
However, pending the results of the case in Fiji, Sivo could face sanction from the NRL at a later date.
The charge against Sivo does not carry a sentence of over 11 years, which means he does not meet the criteria of the controversial no-fault stand-down policy, but the NRL will review their decision after the court proceedings are finalised.
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