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Watch: Rugby player banned for life for referee attack

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Rugby player banned for life for attacking referee

Rugby player banned for life for attacking referee

A rugby player in Namibia has been handed a life ban for charging at a referee and knocking him to the ground in a match last month.

In shocking footage captured on video, the player, who has not been identified by the Namibia Rugby Union, reacts when the referee shows a yellow card to one of his Grootfontein teammates in a match against the Reho Falcons last month.

When the card is shown, the player runs from the edge of the field and flies towards the referee, knocking him to the ground and causing a melee. The Falcons players are stunned, throw their arms in the air and drag the offending player away.

The referee subsequently shows the player a red card and leaves the match “out of fear for his own safety.” In addition to a lifetime ban from playing, the player also received a 156-week ban – the equivalent of three years – from all forms of rugby, including coaching, refereeing and administration. The ban will end on May 31, 2027; The match took place on 18 May but the disciplinary hearing was not convened until 12 days later, at which the player was found guilty of “conduct considered detrimental to the sport and the NRU”.

“A serious incident occurred involving a Grootfontein Rugby Club player who tackled the match referee, causing the game to end prematurely,” read a statement on NRU’s Facebook.

“Following a disciplinary hearing, the NRU issued a lifetime ban from playing rugby and a 156-week ban on all rugby activities, effective May 30.

“The committee emphasized the seriousness of the offence, noting the potential for serious injury to the match referee, the deliberate nature of the act and the negative impact on the reputation of the NRU and the sport of rugby internationally.

“Our commitment to the safety and integrity of rugby remains unwavering. Full details and the right to appeal can be found in our statement.”

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