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Radosavljevic is severely punished after his Pro D2 racist remark

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by AFP/GettyImages)

Provence half-back Ludovic Radosavljevic has been suspended for 26 weeks worth of matches after he was found guilty of racially abusing Nevers’ Christian Ambadiang during a recent Pro D2 match in France. The ban will last for a period of seven-and-a-half months and he will be free to play on April 25 next year.

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Nevers winger Ambadiang had expressed on social media his indignation after allegedly hearing “I’m going to burn you, banana eater” directed at him by an opposition player during the course of a September 3 match against Provence.

He didn’t name Radosavljevic at the time and it was only when the ex-Castres and Clermont player posted a message on social media some days later that it became known who was the Provence culprit responsible for the terrible comments.

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The incident became the subject to a joint French Rugby Federation and Ligue Nationale de Rugby investigation and they have now handed down a punishment to the 32-year-old, two-time Top 14 title-winning scrum-half who spent nine seasons at Clermont and another three seasons at Castres before rejoining Provence, the club where he started his professional career.

A statement from the LNR read: “Ludovic Radosavljevic was found responsible for ‘verbal offences and provocations’ and more particularly ‘verbal aggression (including, any aggression based on religion, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation)’.

“Taking into account the particular gravity of the situation and the nature of the facts, the disciplinary and rules commission determined the entry point for the offence at 52 weeks, the maximum sanction. After taking into account the spontaneous recognition by the player of the facts once the match was over, on social networks and at the hearing, the recognition of his guilt, his blank disciplinary record and the expression of remorse before the hearing and at the hearing, the sanction was reduced by the commission to 26 weeks of official competition matches.

“Consequently, Radosavljevic is suspended for 26 weeks from official competition matches. In view of the calendar of Provence matches, and his precautionary suspension since September 7, the period of suspension covers seven-and-a-half months and the player requalifies on April 25.”

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In his social media apology, Radosavljevic had written: “Following recent events, and after an apology already formulated immediately in the locker room, I would like to publicly and officially present my apologies to Christian Ambadiang for my remarks which are unacceptable.

“Following a chain of events in a tense match, my words went beyond my thought. I measure the gravity of my actions and take full responsibility for it, also apologising to all the people who were shocked by this. It is not part of my values nor of those that I pass on to my children. I remain a human who makes mistakes and learns from them.”

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Jon 8 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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