Racing 92 have issued a scathing statement following EPCR’s decision to fine Saracens for fielding an ineligible player during the club’s 27-24 win over the French club in January.
The EPCR decided to bring misconduct charges against Saracens after they were informed earlier this week that their player, Titi Lamositele, who was named in the matchday squad for the fixture against Racing 92 and who came on to the field of play as a replacement in the 60th minute, may have been ineligible due an inadvertent administrative error on behalf of the club.
Lamositele was eligible at the time the Saracens matchday squad was announced, however, the club indicated to EPCR that the player’s work permit expired on Saturday, 18 January, the day before the fixture.
The loss meant that Racing were drawn away to Clermont in the upcoming quarter-final. The Top 14 side issued a statement on Friday saying they were disappointed not to be contacted about the misconduct charges as the “offense is likely to significantly change the classification” for the quarter-finals.
A disciplinary hearing was held in London on Friday evening following which Saracens were fined €50,000 (euro), €25,000 of which is suspended until the end of the 2020/21 season. Their position in the competition remains unchanged.
In a strong statement issued on Saturday, Racing condemned the punishment saying that Saracens have “the possibility of being consecrated this season in a major international competition while continuing to make fun of its regulations.”
The statement, translated by Google Translate, reads as follows:
“Following the complaint lodged by the EPCR against the Saracens for misconduct, the Independent Disciplinary Commission decided on the following penalty: a fine of 50,000 euros, including 25,000 euros suspended until the end of the 2020 season / 2021.
“Racing 92 takes note of this grotesque decision. Congratulations to the Saracens for this new feat.
📄 Découvrez le communiqué de presse concernant la sanction de l'EPCR contre Saracens.
— Racing 92 (@racing92) February 8, 2020
“We now know that a club can play in its highest national division by sitting on the Salary Cap for several seasons.
“We now know that a club has the possibility of being consecrated this season in a major international competition while continuing to make fun of its regulations.
“We now know that a club risks only 0.07% of its budget if it aligns an ineligible international.
“Rugby school of life, this wonderful sport does not have the same value for everyone but we will be happy to go play with our friends in Clermont.”