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Player handed LIFETIME ban for shocking tackle on referee

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Tuesday Jun 4, 2024

A rugby player in Namibia has been handed a lifetime ban after a moment of utter madness during a club match between Grootfontein and Falcons. 

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Footage of the incident showed the Grootfontein Rugby Club player launching himself through the air to make contact with the officials head, bowling the man in the middle over in front of a crowd of players.

The player in question charged at the official after a decision was given against his side, causing the match to be immediately abandoned over fears for the referees own safety.

After careful consideration of the incident, Namibia Rugby Union have deemed the incident to be worthy of a lifetime ban for the player, and have also given a 3 year ban from all rugby activities.

A statement from the union reads:

“The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) has concluded a disciplinary hearing conceming an incident that occurred during a match on 18 May 2024. During this match, a player from the Grootfontein Rugby Club engaged in conduct deemed detrimental to the sport and the NRU.

“Summary of Incident: The player ran towards the match referee and tackled him, causing the referee to fall to the ground. This incident led to the referee issuing a red card to the player and ending the match prematurely due to concerns for his safety.

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“Disciplinary Hearing: The hearing took place on 30 May 2024, presided over by Chairperson Louis Karsten, with Vice Chairpersons Jacques Oosthuizen and Frik Engelbrecht, and facilitated by Norwin Oosthuizen. The hearing followed NRU guidelines and included the presentation of evidence such as the referee’s report and video footage of the incident.

“Verdict and Sanctions: The player pleaded guilty to charges under World Rugby Laws 9.11, 9.12, 9.27, and 9.28. After careful consideration, the disciplinary committee imposed the following sanctions:

  1. A lifetime ban from playing rugby.
  2. A 156-week ban from all forms of rugby, including coaching, refereeing, and administration, effective from 30 May 2024. This ban will end on 31 May 2027, contingent upon clearance by the NRU for participation in non-playing roles.

“Rationale: The committee emphasized the severity of the offense, noting the potential for serious injury to the match official, the deliberate nature of the act, and the negative impact on the reputation of the NRU and the sport of rugby internationally.

“Right of Appeal: The player has been informed of the right to appeal the decision.

“The NRU reaffirms its commitment to upholding the integrity and safety of the sport and will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize these values.

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“THE NAMIBIA RUGBY UNION”

Watch the crazy footage here:

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