Mathieu Bastareaud Banned For Use Of Homophobic Slur

Banned, but not for long. 

Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud, has been suspended for three weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London today (Wednesday, 17 January) arising from his club’s Champions Cup, Round 5 match against Benetton Rugby at Stade Félix Mayol.

Bastareaud was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Dennis Jones (Wales), for verbally abusing the Benetton Rugby flanker, Sebastian Negri Da Oleggio, in the 80th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.12.

Law 9.12 Verbal abuse of a player
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.12 carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 6 weeks; Mid-range: 12 weeks; Top end: 18 to 52 weeks.

An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Rod McKenzie (Scotland), Chairman, Jennifer Donovan (Ireland) and Becky Essex (England) heard evidence and submissions from Bastareaud, who pleaded guilty to the charge, from the player’s legal representative, Philip Fitzgerald, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

Following an adjournment, the Committee upheld the citing complaint as it determined that the nature of the verbal abuse warranted a red card. It found that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and six weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

As there were no aggravating factors and taking into account the player’s guilty plea, the Committee then reduced the sanction by the maximum permitted of 50 per cent before imposing a suspension of three weeks.

Bastareaud is free to play on Sunday, 4 February 2018, meaning he will miss France’s opening round clash with Ireland.