Cape Town - Sharks captain Ruan Botha has been suspended for four weeks after pleading guilty to foul play during his side’s 29-13 loss to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires at the weekend.
The SANZAAR foul Play review committee accepted a guilty plea from Botha for contravening Law 9.12: Striking with hand or arm, after he was red carded in the match.
Botha has been suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks, up to and including June 23, 2018.
The ban, however, is nothing more than a slap on the wrist as Botha won't see him miss any meaningful games.
The Sharks’ next Super Rugby match is on June 30 against the Lions in Durban, while Botha is not part of Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus’ plans for the June Tests, so the only potential rugby the player is banned for is the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
The incident occurred in the 72nd minute of the match between played at José Amalfitani Stadium last Friday.
The SANZAAR foul play review committee of Nigel Hampton QC (chairperson), Stefan Terblanche and Stephen Hardy assessed the case.
In his finding, Hampton ruled the following:
"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Adrian Montzinger, the foul play review committee upheld the red card under Law 9.12.
"With respect to sanction the foul play review committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of four weeks due to the contact with the opposing player's head."
"The foul play review committee added one week to the initial sanction as aggravation for the fact the player was suspended for a similar incident less than 12 months prior. However, taking into account the mitigating factor of the player's guilty plea at the first available opportunity, the foul play review committee reduced the suspension to four weeks.
"The player is therefore suspended for four weeks, up to and including June 23, 2018.”
All SANZAAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to the foul play review Committee to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.
For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the foul play review committee.