Ryan Tandy ... the disgraced former NRL player is hoping to play club rugby in France. Photo: Ryan Osland
THE chairman of the Rugby League International Federation, Scott Carter, expects the French governing body to reject Ryan Tandy's registration with Pia Donkeys, but admits the peak organisation is powerless to impose concrete bans for match-fixing.
The French Elite One Championship club has signed the former Canterbury prop for the forthcoming season, offering the 30-year-old a lifeline almost a year after he was found guilty over an unusual betting plunge on a game between North Queensland and the Bulldogs in August 2010.
However, the RLIF is trying to ensure Tandy does not set foot on the field after his scheduled arrival in Pia, in southern France, next month.
Carter, also the New Zealand Rugby League chairman, told the Herald he had written to the European game's supremo, Maurice Watkins, explaining Tandy's track record and expected those concerns to be forwarded to the French federation president, Nicolas Larrat.
The international body has not given France a direction, such as ordering it not to register the front-rower, but has made its position clear.
''We don't want someone who has committed these offences playing our game,'' Carter said. ''We would expect France not to register him to play.''
Carter said he would speak with Larrat personally if required but conceded the RLIF itself could not, under current rules, impose a universal suspension on Tandy. Having been told about Tandy's pending signing in France by the ARL Commission, he received legal opinion from RLIF solicitors on on Wednesday and yesterday forwarded their conclusions to the RLIF board.
''There is no doubt that the French body has the power not to accept his registration,'' he said. ''It will just be very interesting if they allow him to play against the wishes of the international federation, because legally there isn't actually a rule that allows us to ban him.''
The RLIF chairman described the Tandy scenario as a ''test case'', adding the organisation was intent on rewriting its rules to allow for players found to have engaged in corruption or spot-fixing to be subject to binding bans in all member nations.
''It is already intended that there will be a wholesale review of the rules around international football because I think there are a number of anomalies between the hemispheres.
''The international body should be able to refer directly to a rule and ban a specific player because [in Tandy's case] they were offences against the game of rugby league as well as being criminal convictions within Australia.''