Toulon owner Boudjellal fined over Treviso comments

2018-07-17 19:15
Mourad Boudjellal (Getty Images)

London - Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has been fined  €75,000 "payable immediately" by European Professional Club Rugby it was announced Tuesday, with the French side also handed a suspended five-point deduction.

The punishments follow an EPCR investigation into comments Boudjellal made following Toulon's European Champions Cup tie against Italian club Benetton Treviso in January.

EPCR said Boudjellal "made comments that (among other things) allegedly condoned homophobic conduct, discriminated against and insulted various groups, and brought the game of rugby into disrepute by attacking, disparaging and criticising EPCR" during media interviews in January and February.

His comments included a robust defence of Toulon star Mathieu Bastareaud, who was cited and then banned for three weeks after the France centre admitted verbally abusing a Benetton player.

The often outspoken Boudjellal was also given a further €25,000, suspended for three years, for any similar misconduct in any rugby jurisdiction.

Three-time European champions Toulon's points deduction has been suspended for three seasons and applies to any ERC tournament.

Officials said it would be activated for "any similar offending or misconduct by the club or any of its representatives in any rugby jurisdiction".

EPCR's statement added: "The independent disciplinary committee considered the misconduct to have been very serious and determined that both Mr Boudjellal and RC Toulon should receive a significant sanction.

"The committee also concluded that there were several aggravating factors, including poor disciplinary records and poor conduct during the disciplinary process, and that these increased the severity of the sanctions imposed.

"That poor conduct included ignoring directions made by the independent disciplinary committee and responding derisively to requests from the committee for information."

The disciplinary panel, in its written decision, said: "We had a responsibility to pass a sanction which properly marks rugby's disapproval of the use, or condoning of the use, of any remark which is discriminatory or insulting.

"Such remarks only undermine the confidence and the desire of the majority of those involved in rugby to promote an entirely inclusive and diverse game.

"We considered this case to be a very serious example of offending of this type."

Read more on:    toulon  |  mourad boudjellal  |  rugby


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