Channel 9’s warning after commentators and technical experts locked out of Queensland for Origin decider

Channel 9 have lashed out at the Queensland government after Channel 9’s “specialty worker” exemptions were denied by the state’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeanette Young.

Nine put in the exemption for 20 individuals 10 days ago, including five commentators, aiming to get commentators including Phil Gould, Ray Warren and Andrew Johns and key technical staff to the game, but Queensland has thrown a spanner in the works.

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The group included producers, directors, floor managers and specialty cameramen according to WWOS, while the staff would have flown in on Wednesday before being taken straight to Suncorp Stadium.

But Dr Young denied the request, saying that if the team went to Queensland, they would have to quarantine for 14 days, which would defeat the purpose of the move

“They‘re welcome to come but they will have to quarantine for 14 days,” she said.

“If they are part of the (NRL) bubble they can. If they‘re not part of that, they have to apply for an exemption to be allowed into the state and then they would have to hotel quarantine.

“I would (grant an exemption) to allow them to come into the state, and I frequently have, but they would have to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days.”

Don’t worry DCE – the decider will be in front of 52,000 Queenslanders.Source:Getty Images

Nine fired back with a tweet, saying the decision has set the Origin decider up for “technical failure”.

“If the Qld Health Minister denies @Channel9’s ‘specialty worker’ exemptions for Wednesday’s SOO decider they will be responsible for putting the broadcast of the year’s biggest match at risk of technical failure,” Channel 9 tweeted.

“The list of exemptions include directors, producers, specialty camera operators & technical experts, not just commentators.”


The list of exemptions include directors, producers, specialty camera operators & technical experts, not just commentators. 2/2

However the move could also mean that Ray Warren has commentated his last game.

Recently, Warren confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that he could end his 55-year career in the commentary box.

“I’m going to sit back, relax and enjoy Christmas and January and then make a decision,” he said.

“It might have been my last grand final the other week, I honestly don’t know.

“If I’d announced before the game I wouldn’t have got through it. I get very emotional when I think about it.

“It’s hard to imagine what it would be like without broadcasting sport. It’s been five-and-a-half decades. I’ve never really treated it as a job. It’s more like a toy or a novelty. I’ve been really fortunate.”

Ray Warren after being inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame.Source:Getty Images

2GB radio host Mark Levy pointed out the hypocrisy of the move, with Queensland Health allowing travel from interstate to set up the boxing ring for the Tim Tszyu and Jeff Horn fight at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium in August. 2GB is owned by Nine.

“Queensland Health allowed ‘experts’ to fly into Townsville to set up a boxing ring earlier this year, so why would the CHO deny the Channel 9 staff needed for the broadcast of the Origin decider?

“The Premier needs to stop playing politics and start acting like a human,” he tweeted.

LATEST: Qld Health minister putting Origin coverage at risk of technical failure. Ch 9’s ‘specialty worker’ exemptions list include directors, producers, specialty camera operators & technical experts …not just commentators. @9NewsSyd @NRLonNine @PhilGould15 @PaulGallen13

It comes after the Queensland government also opened the State of Origin decider up to be played in front of a full capacity crowd.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palasczcuk revealed the state was easing restrictions, including the requirement for open-air stadiums to operate at 75 per cent capacity.

Every thing is coming up Queensland as Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk leaves Government House.Source:News Corp Australia

It will make it the largest sporting attendance since the COVID-19 pandemic suspensions and lockdowns began in March.

“I think Queenslanders are going to be very, very happy with this outcome,” Palaszczuk told reporters.

“Let‘s fill Suncorp and cheer our mighty Maroons on.”

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo praised the move.

“It has been an extraordinary season and remarkable that our final game of the year will be an Origin decider with no crowd cap,” Abdo said.

“It‘s amazing to think how far the game has come since the competition was suspended in March.”

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