Viktor Kolelishvili gets 14-week ban for referee shove

  • Viktor Kolelishvili has been suspended for 14 weeks for pushing English referee Wayne Barnes
  • The incident happened in Clermont’s 21-13 European Champions Cup defeat by the Ospreys
  • He was subsequently cited and pleaded guilty at a Paris hearing
Clermont Auvergne back-rower Viktor Kolelishvili has been suspended for 14 weeks for pushing match referee Wayne Barnes last weekend.

The 26-year-old shoved Englishman Barnes because he believed he was impeding his way to an Ospreys attacker in a match the Welsh region won 21-13 at the Liberty Stadium last Friday night.

Kolelishvili appeared before an independent disciplinary hearing in Paris on Tuesday and pleaded guilty before it was judged that the Georgian player’s action warranted a red card.

The punishment was at the low end for physical abuse of match officials with his original sentence being 28-weeks before it was halved as he apologised immediately and showed remorse.

An ERC statement said: Kolelishivili was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Mike Rafter (England), for pushing the match referee, Wayne Barnes (England)…

“Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (m), Physical abuse of match officials, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 24 weeks; Mid-Range: 48 weeks; Top End: 96 weeks to life.

“In upholding the citing complaint, the Judicial Officer found that Kolelishvili had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card. He determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected 24 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

“He added two weeks due to the player’s poor disciplinary record before reducing the sanction by half of the entry point taking into account Kolelishvili’s immediate apology to the referee, his subsequent remorse, guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing. He then imposed a suspension of 14 weeks.”

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