Haden resigns as RWC ambassador

Reuters - Sat, 10 Jul 14:28:00 2010

Former All Black lock Andy Haden resigned as a rugby World Cup ambassador after a furore erupted following comments he made about women and rugby players.

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Haden tendered his resignation to the New Zealand government's World Cup Minister Murray McCully, who had been widely expected to sack him.

The 59-year-old Haden had suggested earlier that some women sought out rugby players to sell 'kiss and tell' stories and were partially to blame if they were sexually assaulted.

"Some of these girls are targeting rugby players and targeting sportsmen and they do so at their peril," Haden said on a television programme earlier this week.

"I think if the cheque bounces sometimes, they only realise that they've been raped, you know, sometimes."

Local media reported that Haden had resigned in an email to McCully, who had said Haden's role as a "shock jock" was incompatible with that of a World Cup ambassador.

"While it had been my intention to discuss this matter with (him), I have, in the interim, received an email from Andy Haden relinquishing his position as 2011 Ambassador," McCully said.

Haden's latest comments followed criticism in May when he referred to Polynesian players as "darkies" after he claimed the Canterbury Crusaders had a racially-based selection policy.

Haden apologised for those comments and kept his role as one of six former All Blacks appointed by the government as ambassadors for next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

The Haden controversy was the second of the week for McCully, who clashed with the Auckland Regional Council after it changed its mind on the plans for an entertainment precinct on the city's waterfront during the World Cup.


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