Agen issue update on investigation into coin assault on assistant referee
Under-fire Agen are still trying to identify the supporter who controversially struck assistant referee Thomas Charabas with a coin following their 13-28 Top 14 loss to Clermont on Saturday.
The club, which risks a hefty E80,000 fine and the threat of playing two home matches behind closed doors as a punishment, has condemned the incident and promised to heavily punish the culprit if caught after the hooligan-like behaviour soured a match that had been refereed by Mathieu Raynal in front on an attendance of 9,896.
The contest was a tightly fought affair until a 57th minute yellow card for Agen captain Mathieu Lamoulie allowed Clermont, who had only been winning 15-13, to pull away and secure a far more comfortable victory.
Morgan Parra pounced for the key try six minutes after the temporary exit of the home team’s full-back to the sin bin.
Agen president Jean-François Fontenau said: “Agen condemns in the strongest terms the incident that occurred at the end of the match that saw Thomas Charabas hit by a coin thrown by a spectator.
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“Even if the intention of the spectator was not to hurt the referee, this gesture is in complete opposition to the values of our sport, of our club, and our supporters.
“I therefore condemn it unambiguously. This act is unacceptable from both a moral and ethical point of view.
“Agen will make every effort to identify and punish the person heavily, and will also further improve the security conditions.
— SUA LG (@agen_rugby) March 25, 2019
“I would like to salute the work of our security services, which, as Mr Charabas pointed out in his recent interview, have been irreproachable in their mission to protect referees,” continued Fontenau in a statement issued on his club’s website.
Agen are currently 12th in the TOP 14, nine points clear of next-best Grenoble near the bottom of the table with six rounds of fixtures remaining.
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