Upset Nevers boss Xavier Pemeja has revisited the bizarre Pro D2 incident that resulted in his Fijian winger Josaia Raisuque getting red-carded on Friday night after he lifted referee Laurent Millotte in celebration at the end of the match.


The French official had just blown his whistle to end a match that left Nevers victorious on a 30-25 scoreline when he was hoisted in the air by Raisuque, an action that resulted in him red-carding the celebrating player.

Pemeja expressed his anger with Raisuque when interviewed post-game and he doubled down on his upset when interviewed the following day about a game that Nevers had finished a man down following the red-carding of Thomas Ceyte on 67 minutes.

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Speaking to Midi Olympique about the red-carded celebration of Raisuque, Pemeja said: “I know that Raisuque’s gesture, in the current situation where people need lightness, makes everyone laugh, but it is unacceptable.

“The referee is the guarantor of this game. He is the judge of rugby. To touch the referee is to touch the institution and that is not done. We do not touch an institution.

“I know the comparison is daring, but if you go to court tomorrow, you aren’t going to kiss or lift the judge to thank him for not fining you. Afterwards, I know there is nothing bad about Raisuque’s gesture. I know it’s just a display of a little too exuberant joy. But I repeat, it does not happen.


“You can’t afford to behave like that. Referees are the guarantors of the rules of the game. Attacking them is like attacking a judge’s decisions in civil matters. We must not have this kind of behaviour. It must be sanctioned. Obviously, the gesture is laughing, but from my position, I can not support.

“This gesture is making the rounds on social networks. Our society is going through a very difficult period. At the risk of being a little rude, people get bored because they are deprived of their little pleasures, their emotional moments, of sharing. The moments of euphoria have been rare for a year, everyone is missing. So I understand very well that it makes people laugh. But I also put myself in the place of referee Millotte.”

Raisuque, who is automatically suspended after the red card, joined Nevers in 2017 after two seasons with Stade Francais where he scored three tries in eleven games. He was sacked by the Parisian outfit after he was accused of sexual assault which he denied.


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