An independent Disciplinary Committee met in Dublin today (Tuesday, 8 November) and dismissed the citing complaint brought against Dimitri Szarzewski, the Stade Francais Paris hooker.
The citing was for alleged foul play in the Heineken Cup Round 2, Pool 3 match between Stade Francais Paris and Leicester Tigers at Stade Charlety on Saturday, 29 October.
As it was a live televised game, the citing against Mr.Szarzewski was lodged by the Citing Commissioner Ray Wilton (WRU). The citing complaint was for alleged foul play (striking with the head) in the second half of the game. This was in contravention of Law: 10.4 (a) / 10.4 (k):
- Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).
- Law 10.4 (k) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure.
The independent Disciplinary Committee, comprising Brian McLoughlin of the IRFU (Chairman), George Spotswood (IRFU) and Iain Goodall (SRU), decided that although a citing complaint was justified, and that some foul play did occur, their view was that had the incident been seen by the match officials it would not have warranted a red card and as a result the panel dismissed the citing.
NOTES RE CITINGS
(i) Citing Commissioner
a) for live televised games a Citing Commissioner will be appointed by ERC and shall be entitled to cite a Player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner's opinion warranted the player being shown a red card.
b) Clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 12 hours of the conclusion of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the game to make a citing and the determination of the Citing Commissioner will be final and binding.
d) Should the Citing Commissioner decide there is a case to answer he will notify the Disciplinary Officer and the Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
e) This case will then proceed to a disciplinary hearing.
(ii) Citing Officer
a) for non-televised games, where a player is cited by either of the clubs competing in the match, his case shall be immediately referred to the Citing Officer.
b) The citing must be submitted in writing and received by the Citing Officer within 50 hours of the start of the match. The Citing Officer will consider the citing and decide whether the player cited has a case to answer.
c) After this review, if the Citing Officer determines there is no case to answer, no further action will be taken. The determination of the Citing Officer will be final and binding. d) Should the Citing Officer decide there is a case to answer he will notify the Disciplinary Officer and the Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
e) This case will then proceed to a Disciplinary Hearing.
(iii) Independent Disciplinary Committee
a) The independent Disciplinary Committee is chosen by the Chairman of Discipline, Professor Lorne Crerar.
b) The three-man panel normally consists of a legal expert (Chairman), an eminent rugby administrator and former player.
c) No member of the independent Disciplinary Committee may be chosen from a country whose club is a party to the complaint.
d) The ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, presents the case against any cited player.