Coach suspended for referee criticism
Grenoble's coach Bernard Jackman has been suspended by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby for remarks on the refereeing of a match.
In Round 11 of the Top 14, Grenoble lost at home to Bordeaux-Bègles 24-22 on 12 November 2016. The match was refereed by Salem Attalah, an experienced Top 14 referee who is set to retire at the end of the season at the age of 45, which is the retirement age France requires for professional referees.
The last moments of the match were thrilling. First, Grenoble narrowly missed a drop at goal, then Bordeaux-Bègles goal a penalty to take the lead at 24-22, then, with Grenoble on the attack and going through phases a tackle/ruck was deemed unplayable and the match ended.
After the match the Jackson was reported to be uncomplimentary of the match officials' performances. Hr is reported to have said: "I have the impression that we're playing 15 against 18. Salem will retire at the end of season, we know why.
"At the end of the match, he closed his eyes to what was happening. He didn't want to give us a penalty. There was a penalty in the last ruck.
"I'm usually very quiet. It's like this every weekend. The Top 14 is the best Championship in the world, but the referees are bad.
"Right now, the refereeing in our matches has been catastrophic. With Salem Attalah, it is not just today - it is often the case. This is not acceptable."
On 7 December the Ligue's disciplinary meeting met and banned Jackman from "access to the field and to the dressing room of a referee for six weeks for breach of the duty of self-control"
Jackman, who hooked for Ireland nine times, has been involved in coaching at Grenoble since 2011 and has been the head coach since 2012. His suspension runs to 15 January 2017.