Erasmus banned for two months over conduct during Lions series

By Sports Desk November 17, 2021

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been banned from all rugby activities for two months for his conduct towards match officials during a series win over the British and Irish Lions.

Erasmus, head coach of the Springboks for their 2019 World Cup triumph, has also been suspended from all matchday activities with immediate effect until September 30 next year.

World Rugby on Wednesday revealed that an independent misconduct committee found the 49-year-old was guilty of all six charges that were brought against him.

Erasmus accused the Lions of "reckless and dangerous" play in their 22-17 win in the first Test in July and hit out at the standard of refereeing from Nic Berry.

He also made the claims in a 62-minute clip posted on social media as he highlighted what he felt were a number of calls that went against the world champions.

Erasmus also retweeted clips from an anonymous Twitter user, alleged to be one of his own accounts, highlighting "questionable calls".

In summary, World Rugby revealed he had been guilty of threatening a match official that unless a requested meeting took place, he would publish footage containing clips criticising the match official's performance and then making good on that threat; published or permitted to be published the video containing numerous comments that were either abusive, insulting and/or offensive to match officials.

He was also found to have attacked, disparaged and/or denigrated the game and the match officials; did not accept or observe the authority and decisions of match officials; published or caused to be published criticism of the manner in which a match official handled a match.

The committee also deemed Erasmus to have engaged in conduct or activity that may impair public confidence in the integrity and good character of match official(s); and brought the game into disrepute when he published or caused to be published the 'Erasmus Video'.

Erasmus was warned about his future conduct and told to issue an apology to the relevant match officials.

SA Rugby were also charged with not ensuring Erasmus complied with the World Rugby Code of Conduct and/or permitted him to commit acts of misconduct; and/or did not publicly correct any comments or publications by or on behalf of the director of rugby that amounted to misconduct.

A fine of £20,000 was issued to SA Rugby along with a warning as to future conduct. The organisation was told there must be an apology to the relevant match officials.

SA Rugby issued a joint statement along with Erasmus confirming both parties will exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts.

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