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didds
27-01-04, 16:01
This is here in "general" 'cos its not a law related thing, more admin/CB/union.


We recently had a player dismissed for a double yellow... first for a high tackle and the second for "verbal abuse" of the ref.

The letter has comne through from the CB for the disciplinary meeting (a Tue night IIRC) including the refs report that the player called the ref a "F****g cheat". The player does not dispute the high tackle call in retrospect and he fully respects the ref's jurisdiction on this point. Neither does he dispute that he chatted back to the referee... BUT he is adamant that did not use the words the ref says he did and he certainly didn't accus ethe ref of either cheating or of using foul language.

However, if he appeals against the report, he has to attend a disciplinary tribunal, along with the referee - but in ordder to do this he would have to take time off work, adn as an hourly paid worker he would lose a shift's wages. Consequently he is not in a position to do so, especially as he himself puts it when its his word versus the ref why should the tribunal not agree with the ref (after all, it would make a mockery of the system if the ref wasn't to be believed).

All this in itself is not so bad - the player, while not totally happy about the slur on his character is prepared to take whatever ban comes down from it all despite feeling aggreived that he will be banned for swearing at an official when he did no such thing. C';est la vie. We (the club) have handed down an 8 match ban on him in advance of the tribunal.

However, apparently he will also be handed a 50 fine! This has really got all our goats up frankly - he plays the game as an amateur (natch!), is not exactly rolling in cash as it is, and on top of (manfully) accepting a two month ban from the game will be hit in the pocket to boot, and basically because of a factually incorrect report. As amateurs why should we be handing out fines? Bans yes - financial penalties no! What happens if he simply cannot pay the 50 - does he remain banned until he does pay it? How does this make rugby an inclusive sport - basically its do anything you want if you are loaded, but keep schtumm if you are borassic!

Can you imagine the reaction of a wife faced with a husband given a 50 fine ? It could even lead to us LOSING players from the game simply because of such fines.

I am not condoning this player's yellow cards, or his back-chatting. One could argue that maybe the game would be better off w/out such "louts" - but show me a centre that NEVER high tackles? And as I reiterate he claims he did NOT verball abuse the ref nor accuse him of being a cheat... it was just general backchat (the sort of "what about them then ref" sort) and maybe worthy only of 10 metres and a finger wagging IMO.

But how can we hope to retain players when the tribunal suystem is such that players have to miss work and so wages to attend if they want to appeal, and when we actually hand out finaincial penalties to boot?

didds

Robert Burns
27-01-04, 23:01
To be honest I don't think anyone can answer this aprt from the persons concerned. It is a strange situation though, did the referee mis-hear what he actually said, has he forgotten saying it as it was in the heat of the moment.

Red Munster
28-01-04, 10:01
The letter has comne through from the CB for the disciplinary meeting (a Tue night IIRC) including the refs report that the player called the ref a "F****g cheat". The player does not dispute the high tackle call in retrospect and he fully respects the ref's jurisdiction on this point. Neither does he dispute that he chatted back to the referee... BUT he is adamant that did not use the words the ref says he did and he certainly didn't accus ethe ref of either cheating or of using foul language

didds

If you look at the facts of this case, it is difficult to back the player. If he was sin binned for 10 minutes, came back onto the pitch and THEN verbally abused the ref - which he admits - he deserves to go. A ref won't sin bin a player for saying "What about them ref?". That happens all the time and if you were send everyone off that asked a question, you would be left with very few players on the pitch. Obviously the player was angry at being sin binned the first time and decided to challenge the ref on it. I would back the ref on this one.

I don't agree with fining the player. If anyone should be fined, it should be the club. That would ensure that the club gets their act together and warns about back chat in future.

This also raises a related issue of back chat in general - a la soccer. I am amazed at the abuse that soccer refs take. If that kind of behaviour is allowed to creep in to rugby, it will be a sad day. I think the ref in the case above was absolutely correct to do what he did and it should be a lesson to other players that talking back to the referee is not acceptable in rugby even if it is common place in soccer.

didds
29-01-04, 12:01
If you look at the facts of this case, it is difficult to back the player.

I'm not asking anyone to back the player. You'll see that he - rather digruntled admittedly because of the wrong accusation - accepts his fate. He was varded, then bacj-chateed - and he accepts all that.

The problems _he_ has is that his alleged backchat as reported is wrong - but to appeal will cost him a work shift and thus , plus a longer ban for swearing as opposed to an inoffensive - albeit incorrect - backchat.

The problem _I_ have - and this is generic - is that "we" fine _amateur_ players hard cash.


>A ref won't sin bin a player for saying "What about them ref?".

Well... the point here is that the ref thought he said one thing, while he insists he didn't. FWIW I believe him. I also believe the ref probably did hear SOMEBODY say what he says he heard. Possibly - due to the closeness of the touchline - a spectator. Nobody else unfortunately will own up to who did say it - amongst maybe 50-60 spectators anyway.

So - its his word against the ref's. So what is likely to happen? Nobody is "wrong" - but its difficult to see how "justice" can be truly served. All made harder by the fact that to appeal against the accusation, said player would need to lose income to attend the tribunal. Don;t you have _any_ sympathy for that scenario?

I reiterate - the actual details of what was said aside the player accepts he shouldn't have backchatted and accepts his fate. He's just naffed off at an 8-12 week ban instaed of a 4-6 week one, and is concerned about the 50 fine.

>I don't agree with fining the player. If anyone should be fined, it should be >the club. That would ensure that the club gets their act together and >warns about back chat in future.

Closer... but what if the club really can't find the culprit? What's to stop me going along to Old Smellypants game this weekend and wearing their colours and shouting "F******* Cheat" at the ref if/when he bins an Old Smellies player and landing Old Smellies in the doo-doo when in fact I have nothing to do with the club whatsoever and wouldn't ever appear there again probably?

Or as a player from standing behind returning benched player and sayuing those words to lead the ref to believe it was the binned player with an intention of getting him dismissed?


above was absolutely correct to do what he did and it should be a lesson to other players that talking back to the referee is not acceptable in rugby even if it is common place in soccer.


which once again nobody involved in this case is disagreeing with.

The problems stem from

* the referee's reporting of the remarks he heard which did not emanate from the dismissed player
* the only way to defend the allegation being to lose earnings
* the fining of an amateur player (which was the real point of this thread anyway - see thread title)

didds

Red Munster
29-01-04, 13:01
Didds,

I don't know much about appeals and tribunals as I am a novice referee, but I think you should ask the tribunal if (a) the player can be represented by someone else as he has to work, or (b) hold the tribunal at a time that suits the player - which is unlikely.

I would then argue the case that the referee may have heard somebody say that he was a cheat but can he be certain it was this particular player? Back it up by saying that it was close to the touch line and a vocal supporter may have caused the referee to finger the player inadvertently.

If you argue this point, the referee will have no option but to say that there is a doubt as to the identity of the player - unless the ref says that he was standing right in front of him when the slur was cast.

If the player is found guilty, I would appeal the length of ban and the fine.

On no account would I approach the said referee to ask him his opinion or otherwise. This could be construed as "badgering the witness" and the ref could play this up in the tribunal too.

If the referee can come out of the tribunal with his reputation intact, the player may not get banned or fined.

didds
29-01-04, 13:01
red - cheers for the thougts.

I'll pass them on t'committee

Didds

Robert Burns
29-01-04, 23:01
Didds,

I don't know much about appeals and tribunals as I am a novice referee, but I think you should ask the tribunal if (a) the player can be represented by someone else as he has to work, or (b) hold the tribunal at a time that suits the player - which is unlikely.

I would then argue the case that the referee may have heard somebody say that he was a cheat but can he be certain it was this particular player? Back it up by saying that it was close to the touch line and a vocal supporter may have caused the referee to finger the player inadvertently.

If you argue this point, the referee will have no option but to say that there is a doubt as to the identity of the player - unless the ref says that he was standing right in front of him when the slur was cast.

If the player is found guilty, I would appeal the length of ban and the fine.

On no account would I approach the said referee to ask him his opinion or otherwise. This could be construed as "badgering the witness" and the ref could play this up in the tribunal too.

If the referee can come out of the tribunal with his reputation intact, the player may not get banned or fined.
Very good idea, makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it.