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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Super League Halts Kickoff

SYDNEY -- Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's breakaway Super League shelved plans to launch its inaugural season this weekend after being temporarily barred from operating in Australia by a federal court Tuesday.


A federal court judge, James Burchett, imposed an injunction banning the rebel 10-team competition from kicking off as planned this Friday.


The court ruling gave the Australian Rugby League, the sport's ruling body, a significant legal victory in their 11-month battle for supremacy over the Super League.


In a second temporary ruling, Burchett also ordered eight Australian clubs aligned to Murdoch's competition to abide by existing loyalty agreements tying them to the ARL.


Under those agreements, the clubs must play in the ARL's 20-team premiership for the 1996 season, which is due to start Friday.


A host of leading players with clubs aligned to the Super League had declared their loyalty to the rebel competition, raising doubts as to whether they would be willing to play under the ARL banner.


The latest ruling followed the ARL's legal victory last Friday when the federal court found in its favor by declaring the club loyalty agreements valid.