Leo slapped with suspension

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 18:29

Perpignan back row Daniel Leo has been suspended for one week for striking Toulouse’s Christopher Tolofua in Friday’s Challenge Cup quarterfinal at Stade Aimé Giral.

Leo was shown a red card by referee, Alain Rolland (Ireland), in the 64th minute of the match for an alleged strike with the arm on Tolofua, in contravention of Law 10.4(a) of the IRB’s Laws of the Game.

Under the IRB Sanctions for Foul Play which ERC is obliged to follow, the entry points for a breach of Law 10.4(a) where a player strikes with the hand, arm or fist are the following periods of suspension (in each case the suspension is a blanket ban from playing Rugby Union anywhere in the world): two weeks (lower end), five weeks (mid range) and eight weeks up to 52 weeks (top end).

Independent Judicial Officer Anthony Davies (England) heard evidence and submissions from Leo, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Perpignan’s legal representative, Pierre Becque, and from ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O’Connor.

Davies upheld the red card and determined that the act was in the lower end (two weeks) of the IRB’s sanctioning regime. Taking into account the player’s guilty plea and his good disciplinary record, he reduced the sanction by 50 percent and imposed a suspension of one week.

The citing complaint against Stade Francais prop Rabah Slimani for tackling Bath wing Nick Abendanon while he was in the air in Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarterfinal was upheld, however, it was decided in the circumstances that no suspension was warranted.