NEW South Wales Police have issued an apology to one of the NRL Grand Final referees for this weekend.
The apology comes after Matt Cecchin took offence to a meme relating to State of Origin earlier this year, and included editing a photo to show the referee in a Queensland Maroons jersey.
The following status was posted on the NSW Police Force Facebook page:
"In the lead up to Game 3 of the 2017 State of Origin, the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) posted on the NSWPF Facebook page a meme featuring a photograph of State of Origin referee, Matt Cecchin, with Mr Cecchin pictured wearing a Queensland jersey.
"The NSWPF has since removed this post from the NSWPF Facebook page.
"The NSWPF wishes to make clear it did not intend to make any serious assertion that Mr Cecchin was biased as a referee and only intended for the meme to be a lighthearted joke.
"However, the NSWPF acknowledges that, in posting the meme, Mr Cecchin has suffered hurt and damage to his reputation.
"The NSWPF wishes to make clear it does not think Mr Cecchin is biased as a referee and withdraws any such suggestion unreservedly.
"The NSWPF apologises to Mr Cecchin for any hurt or damage caused.”
Cecchin has been selected alongside Gerard Sutton to officiate Sunday's decider between Melbourne and North Queensland.