TOKYO – A congratulatory “low five” shared between referee Ben O'Keeffe and a Fiji player during the Pacific islanders' World Cup opener against the Wallabies has been criticised by Australian media and invited further scrutiny on officiating at the tournament.
After Fiji scored a try to move to a 21-12 lead in the second half of the match at Sapporo, video footage posted online shows New Zealander O'Keeffe extending his right hand as Fiji fullback Kini Murimurivalu jogs toward him.
Murimurivalu slaps O'Keeffe's hand as he jogs past.
“Regardless of his intensions (sic) or the motivations behind the gesture, it just shouldn’t happen,” Australian broadcaster Fox Sports said on its website, describing the low five as a “cardinal sin”.
“The gesture leaves O’Keeffe open to come under attack.”