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Namibia captain receives lengthy ban after Dupont tackle

By Josh Raisey
Johan Deysel of Namibia is shown a yellow card from Referee Matthew Carley, as a 8-Minute window for a TMO Bunker Review begins and later escalates the initial Yellow Card decision to a Red Card following the conclusion of the off-field review, during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between France and Namibia at Stade Velodrome on September 21, 2023 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Namibia captain Johan Deysel’s World Cup is over after the centre was handed a five week ban for his dangerous tackle on France captain Antoine Dupont last Thursday.

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Deysel fractured Dupont’s cheekbone in a clash of heads in the second-half in Marseille, which resulted in the Namibian being red carded.

After a hearing before an independent disciplinary committee, where the 32-year-old was charged with contravening Law 9.13, he has been banned for twelve weeks. Due to his good disciplinary record and apology, the ban has been halved and will have a further week taken off it should he take part in the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme.

As Namibia only have one match remaining, against Uruguay, and cannot qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup, the ban ends his tournament entirely.

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A World Rugby statement reads: “Namibia’s Johan Deysel attended an independent Disciplinary Committee hearing for an offence contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) as a result of a review by the Foul Play Review Official in Namibia’s Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool A match against France on 21 September.

“The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Adam Casselden SC (Australia), joined by former international referees Donal Courtney (Ireland) and Juan Pablo Spirandelli (Argentina).

“The player accepted that foul play had occurred and that the offence warranted a red card.

“Having considered all the available evidence, the submissions by the player and his representative, the independent Committee categorised the act of foul play as being at the top end of the scale of seriousness of offending, having regard to the degree of recklessness involved in the offending, the vulnerability of the victim player and the significant injury to him. Applying Appendix 1 to Regulation 17, the independent Committee determined that the applicable entry point is 12 matches.

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“Having considered the mitigating factors, including admission of foul play and correctness of the red card at the first opportunity, his disciplinary record and apology to the player, the independent Committee reduced the sanction by the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent. The final sanction of six matches is to be applied as follows:

“Uruguay v Namibia – 27 September
“Subsequent playing schedule to be determined.”

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