Neill’s innocence leaves questions for Murray
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article calling for the sacking of Lucas Neill. My argument was based on Les Murray’s now-disproved claims that Neill was the catalyst for a mutiny against the then-Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek, before the first Australian game of the 2010 football World Cup against Germany.
Like many others, I was led to believe this accusation on the basis that it was printed in Murray’s tell-all book about the World Cup, and as a journalist, Murray staked his reputation on his claims.
It is true, I still hold a lot of residual anger for the disgrace that was last year’s ‘Disaster in Durban’ and perhaps I reacted too quickly to trust Murray’s words.
However, I find it very disappointing that Murray allowed a blatant mistruth to drive the sales of his book and mislead the Australian public on such a difficult topic.
I also feel for Neill, for he is the victim in all of this.
I’m sure that many others like me saw a way to explain what happened in that game that made sense, and also, like me these people took the reputation of Murray as the collateral on which to believe his claims.
As Murray has retracted his claims against Neill, I too would like to retract my sentiment in my previous article calling for Neill to be sacked.
Perhaps even worse than the accused (and now disproved) crime of Neill’s is the crime of spreading mistruth about what happened in the Socceroos dressing room on that fateful night.
Admittedly, I have been on a hiking holiday (without access to the internet) for about a week. However, only today, I learned of the fact that Murray had apologised to Neill and retracted his claims.
It seems very unfair that the discussion of the alleged mutiny of Neill’s was a heated and drawn-out debate and yet very little has been made of Murray’s printed mistruths.
I hope that by writing this I can add to the discussion of Neill’s innocence and the fact that Murray now has some very serious questions to answer about his journalistic integrity.