Hetherington must wait

Sheffield Eagles founder 'Gary Hetherington
Sheffield Eagles founder 'Gary Hetherington
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Former Sheffield Eagles chief Gary Hetherington must await the verdict of a rugby league tribunal hearing to an allegation of improper conduct.

The 57-year-old Hetherington, the man behind the founding of Eagles in a region not known for the sport, was charged by the Rugby Football League over comments he made about its investigation into homophobic comments alleged to have been made by Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker during a match against St Helens on August 29.

The veteran administrator accused the governing body of carrying out a witch-hunt against Hardaker and claimed it was using the services of a lip-reader in an attempt to prove the case.

The RFL subsequently dropped the case against Hardaker due to insufficient evidence but accused Hetherington of questioning their motivation and integrity and breaching operational rules by “engaging in conduct which is prejudicial to the interests of the game”.

An RFL spokesman announced on Wednesday evening that the tribunal has concluded but a decision is being deferred.