Rassie Erasmus could face fines or suspension from World Rugby.
South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will face an independent misconduct hearing for making an hour-long video critique of the officiating performance in the first British and Irish Lions test.
There was plenty of controversy in the build up to the second test between the Lions and the Springboks, with Erasmus’ actions on social media taking up most of the spotlight.
World Rugby have now released a statement announcing that Erasmus’ actions are considered to be a breach of regulations and has reminded both the Springboks’ and Lions’ management teams to respect the officials.
Statement: SA Rugby has noted the charges brought by World Rugby and will respond through the designated channels. There will be no further comment from SA Rugby until the process is complete.
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 2, 2021
Official World Rugby statement.
“Match officials are the backbone of the sport, and without them there is no game,” a statement read.
“World Rugby condemns any public criticism of their selection, performance or integrity which undermines their role, the well-established and trust-based coach-officials feedback process, and more importantly, the values that are at the heart of the sport.
“Having conducted a full review of all the available information, World Rugby is concerned that individuals from both teams have commented on the selection and/or performance of match officials.
“However, the extensive and direct nature of the comments made by Rassie Erasmus within a video address, in particular, meets the threshold to be considered a breach of World Rugby Regulation 18 (Misconduct and Code of Conduct) and will now be considered by an independent disciplinary panel. The date and panel will be confirmed in due course.
“World Rugby has reminded the management of both teams of the importance of this area and their obligations regarding the values of the sport. In order to protect the integrity of the sport and its values, World Rugby will also undertake a review of its Code of Conduct relating to incidents of this nature with a view to strengthening scope, rules and sanctions.”
Potential punishments Rassie Erasmus now faces.
Under World Rugby’s Regulation 18, Erasmus now faces numerous potential punishments for his breach of conduct in regards to match officials.
On the lower end of the scale, the South Africa director of rugby could just be warned against future misconduct, while on the higher end of the scale, Erasmus could be suspended from coaching and/or administration of the sport.
Between those two, includes a fine and/or compensation, a suspension for a specified number of matches or period of time, or expulsion from the remainder of the series.
The most severe punishments include the cancellation of a match result of forfeiture of a future match, but Erasmus’ offences are unlikely to warrant such a response.