Rassie Erasmus banned from all rugby for 2 months, given match day ban until September 2022

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Rassie Erasmus. (Ashley Vlotman/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Rassie Erasmus. (Ashley Vlotman/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

SA Rugby's director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been banned for two months from all rugby with immediate effect, World Rugby announced on Wednesday, adding that he would be banned from match day activities at all levels until September 2022. 

Erasmus was found guilty on all six charges brought against him after he compiled a 62-minute video in which he hit out at Australian referee Nic Berry's and TMO Marius Jonker's officiating during the Springboks' first Test loss to the British & Irish Lions in July.

The 49-year-old's charges were listed as follows:

  • threatened 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 Erasmus Video containing numerous comments that were either abusive, insulting and/or offensive to match officials;
  • 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;
  • 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. 

"Having considered all the evidence, including oral evidence from the match officials, Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby, World Rugby, and submissions from the parties the committee found all six charges against Mr Erasmus proved," World Rugby said in their statement.

The sanction means Erasmus is suspended from all match day activities, including coaching, contact with match officials, and media engagement, until 30 September 2022.

"He [Erasmus] may then (after two months) return to his Director of Rugby duties but must continue to serve a 'match day' ban until 30 September 2022, which will therefore include the SA Senior Men’s inbound tour by Wales in July and the 2022 Rugby Championship," the World Rugby governing body said.

"That 'match day' ban will remain in place and covers all Rugby Union at whatever level. It would prohibit, therefore, participation in that way at club or provincial level."

Erasmus was also issued with a warning about his future conduct and forced to apologise to the relevant officials.

READ | Rassie, SA Rugby to appeal World Rugby ban

SA Rugby, who were charged alongside Erasmus, received a £20,000 fine and were also handed a warning on future conduct and made to apologise to the affected officials.

World Rugby also released the 80-page verdict.

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