NRL referee Matt Cecchin says he sought an apology from New South Wales Police over a social media post to protect the integrity of match officials.
NSW Police yesterday issued a public apology to Cecchin over a Facebook post published during the State of Origin series earlier this year, which depicted him wearing a Queensland jersey.
The text on the original post read: "NSW Police uncover QLD's plan to replace Jonathan Thurston in game three."
It has since been removed.
Despite winning the first game of the series, NSW lost the series to the Maroons 2-1.
Yesterday, NSW Police posted an apology to Mr Cecchin on Facebook for any "hurt and damage".
"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 light-hearted joke," the post read.
"However, the NSWPF acknowledges that, in posting the meme, Mr Cecchin has suffered hurt and damage to his reputation."
Mr Cecchin and Gerard Sutton were today announced as the referees for Sunday's NRL grand final between North Queensland and Melbourne Storm.
Mr Cecchin said although there was humour in the post, it was an attack on his character.
"It was an attack on integrity," Mr Cecchin said.
"Integrity is very, very important to our squad. It's something that we can ensure."
Mr Cecchin said he understood the post was supposed to be a joke.
"But you only have to look at the comments that were made that a lot of people didn't see it that way and it's something I'm not going to joke about," he said.
"It's very serious."