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Rassiegate: SA Rugby and Erasmus issue joint statement in wake of WR ruling

By PA
Rassie Erasmus /Getty

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SA Rugby and Springboks Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus have issued a joint statement in wake of World Rugby’s disciplinary ruling this evening, confirming that they will appeal the decision.

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Erasmus has been banned from all rugby activity for two months after six charges of misconduct against him were upheld.

The charges were brought by World Rugby in response to Erasmus’ behaviour towards match officials during the Springboks’ 2-1 series victory over the British and Irish Lions in the summer.

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Freddie Burns | All Access
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Freddie Burns | All Access

Erasmus is also suspended from all match-day activities, including coaching and media engagement, until September 30, 2022.

It means the mastermind of South Africa’s 2019 World Cup triumph will play no part in Saturday’s clash with England at Twickenham.

Erasmus and SA Rugby, who also faced two charges, have confirmed in a statement that they will appeal the decisions.

Erasmus used social media to highlight refereeing inconsistencies, starting with the Lions’ defeat to South Africa ‘A’, and after the first Test released an hour-long video critiquing the performance of the officials.

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The charges upheld by an independent misconduct committee included attacking, disparaging and/or denigrating the game and match officials and not accepting the authority of match officials.

The first charge said that Erasmus threatened a match official that unless a requested meeting took place, he would publish footage containing clips criticising the match official’s performance and then made good on that threat.

Erasmus has also been given warning as to his future conduct and must apologise to the relevant match officials.

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SA Rugby was charged with allowing Erasmus to commit acts of misconduct and for permitting captain Siya Kolisi and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick to make comments at a press conference on July 30 that were not “disciplined or sporting and adversely affected the game of rugby”.

Both counts were upheld by the independent misconduct committee, who fined the union £20,000, issued a warning over future conduct and ordered an apology be made to the relevant match officials.

The joint statement from SA Rugby and Erasmus in response to the judgement reads: “SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus have noted the decision of World Rugby’s judicial committee.

“Both parties confirmed they will exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts.

“Neither party will make any further comment until the process is complete.”

 

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