Rugby player in Australia given 96 week ban-News

A rugby player has been banned for 96 weeks after being found guilty of abusing a footballer.

Footage shows an unnamed Perth Bayswater player knocking down referee Ian Sunderland during a Premier Grade match on 22 April.

Rugby Western Australia said the ban was equivalent to about five years because it was only handed out during rugby.

“We accept the decision and we do not condone what they did,” Perth Bayswater president Darrell Stops said.

The Sydney Morning Herald reportexternal link nothing was done about the game in Western Australia as it initially appeared to be an accident, but later it was determined to be intentional and the player was cited.

The player was found guilty by Rugby Western Australia’s Adjudicating Committee, with the longest ban available under World Rugby rules.

“Due to the serious and willful breach, a sentence of 96 weeks – effectively, almost five years – was imposed,” Rugby WA said in a statement.

Perth Bayswater president Darrell Stops added: “We are concerned about referee Ian Sunderland and his injuries in the incident, and that was very important in our thoughts.

“But at the same time, we are trying to help our player who is not in a good position.”

WA Rugby boss Simon Taylor added: “We strongly condemn any form of abuse or violence against match officials, and we are determined to ensure that such behavior is removed from the game.

“The rugby community must be vigilant against the abuse of match officials, and we hope that this penalty will help ensure that officials at all levels of rugby are treated with respect.”

The game saw Perth lose 26-33 against Associates in the top-flight of Western Australia’s domestic competition.

They are the oldest continuously active team in the region and have won the Premier Grade eight times.

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