SEB Bechara has hit back at French moans that essentially get at England winning the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup because their players are not disabled enough!
And official Laurent Abrial may be seen nowhere near a Test arena again after his meltdown in the latter stages of Friday’s 28-24 triumph.
Seb Bechara (pictured hugging Jack Brown) has dismissed French moans over the make-up of England’s wheelchair teamSWPIX.COM
Skipper Tom Halliwell’s late try clinched the trophy – and revenge after being defeated in 2017’s climax – in front of a world record 4,526 crowd.
But to say the inventors of the wheelchair sport were unhappy was an understatement, citing the number of able bodied players, even though they were within the rules and strapped into chairs.
Coach Sylvain Crismanovich said: “The sport went more for the show rather than safety of the players.
“We need to look again at the rules but a decision has been made to prioritise the show rather than the athletes involved.”
Founder Robert Fassolette added: “It should be a wheelchair game for wheelchair people. The players are more in control than the referees, it’s a major problem.”
England star Bechara, who lives in France and plays for Catalans Dragons hit back at the whinges, aimed mainly towards Jack Brown.
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The Golden Boot winner, the best player on the international stage, said: “It sounds like they’re making a fuss because they lost the World Cup.
“They have the same amount of able-bodied as us. It’s been the rules forever and it’s not played a part in making it dangerous for disabled players.
“It’s the most inclusive sport in the world and it’s brilliant how it is. Jack has played in a wheelchair since 2005. That’s what makes him so good, not because he’s able-bodied.”
Boss Tom Coyd added: “I don’t know why you’d want to change the product. This is a sport that’s safe at championship level.
“I don’t understand why you’d want to take away what’s happened at this World Cup, it’s changed the world.”
England’s wheelchair team played within the rules – and became world championsSWPIX.COM
Meanwhile, SunSport understands furious World Cup referee’s chiefs will demand a full explanation into the bizarre scenes involving official Abrial.
The Frenchman fumed at lead ref Ollie Cruickshank after he did not wipe the tackle count clean for his country.
He also reacted to crowd taunts and was even held back by colleagues.
That has sparked an angry reaction from tournament officials’ head Steve Ganson and the French federation is likely to be called upon to probe what happened and why it did.