Shannon RFC, Ireland’s most succesful rugby club, have been slapped with a €25,000 fine and given a suspended six-point deduction because of the behaviour of their fans and officials at a recent match versus Cork Cons.
The IRFU imposed the fine after it found that Shannon supporters and officials verbally abused ref George Clancy when he awarded a late penalty for offside having initially given a free-kick for a crooked feed into a scrum.
Cons kicked the penalty and won 9-8.
According to a number of reports, Shannon supporters and officials entered the referee’s dressing room after the match and verbally abused him. One individual was physically removed from the dressing room by the two touch-judges.
The six point deduction will apply to the senior team if there is another breach this season, by officials or supporters of any Shannnon team from under-12 upwards.
This incident occurred two weeks after a very specific letter went out to all Irish clubs from the IRFU threatening dire consequences for any club whose supporters or officials abused a referee.
A statement on the Shannon website today read:
Shannon RFC will appeal this decision and no further comment will be made until a meeting of club officers takes place in the coming days.
Shannon RFC must reiterate that under no circumstances have we, or will ever condone any form of abuse towards match officials.
Dear Hon. Secretary,
It is unfortunatet hat I have to bring Disciplinary matters to the attention of all Clubs.
In the full season of last year 2008/2009, we had a total of 66 players
sent off in the field of play. So far for the 10 weeks of this playing season we have a total of 32 sending off. This is a huge increase and a matter of grave concern.
The bulk of these players range in the U/19 and U/17 groups, with the balance at Junior 1 and Junior 2. The offences are mainly verbal abuse of referees
and fighting with opponents. The Munster Branch takes a very serious
view of this and in order to put a stop to it, will increase the penalties
with suspension of players who receive red cards in the following categories:
|Verbal abuse of referee||8 weeks||14 weeks||20 weeks|
|Striking another player with hand/arm/fist||4 weeks||7 weeks||10 weeks|
|Striking with head||6 weeks||10 weeks||14 + weeks|
|Stamping on opponent||4 weeks||7 weeks||16 weeks|
|Kicking an opponent||4 weeks||10 weeks||14 + weeks|
|Tripping||4 weeks||6 weeks||9 + weeks|
|Spitting at players||6 weeks||9 weeks||13 + weeks|
|Verbal abuse of players based on religion/colour/nationality/ethnic origin or otherwise||6 weeks||10 weeks||15 weeks|
In respect of offences not referred to, appropriate sanctions will be imposed at
the discretion of the relevant hearing committee.
Yours in sport,
President Munster Branch I.R.F.U.
Garrett Fitzgerald; Hon. Sec. Frank Byford; Hon. Treasurer Jim Riordan