Saturday 14 December 2019

Video: Clermont player handed 14 week ban for pushing referee Wayne Barnes. Fair call?

Wayne Barnes was shoved by a player during the encounter between the Ospreys and Clermont
Wayne Barnes was shoved by a player during the encounter between the Ospreys and Clermont Newsdesk Newsdesk

Clermont Auvergne's Viktor Kolelishvili has been hit with a 14-week suspension for pushing Wayne Barnes in last Friday's defeat against the Ospreys.

The incident occurred in the first-half of his Clermont side’s defeat at the Liberty Stadium as Kolelishvili grew frustrated with Barnes’ positioning.

The Georgian then shoved the English official as Ospreys prepared to launch another attack, leading to cries of derision from the crowd.

Barnes immediately brought play to a halt but decided against showing Kolelishvili either a yellow or red card, instead only awarding a penalty against him, which was then converted by Dan Biggar.

Barnes, who refereed the World Cup semi-final between Australia and Argentina last year, also told Kolelishvili: “If I’m standing in your way please just ask me to move.”

The pair then shook hands.

The openside was cited by the European Professional Club Rugby and has been hit with a lengthy suspension.

The judicial officer David Martin deemed the offence worthy of a red card and hit him with a 24-week suspension with two further weeks added on for his poor disciplinary record. But this was reduced to 14 taking into account Kolelishvili's apology to Barnes and guilty plea.

Kolelishvili can appeal the decision and is free to play again on April 25, 2016.

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