VIDEO: Six-year ban for Fiji teen after punching ref
DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: The Fiji Rugby Union has confirmed that a teenage loose forward has been banned from all levels of rugby in Fiji and abroad for six years.
The 19-year-old Keresi Maya has been suspended for his vicious attacked on a referee during an Under-19 match between Naitasiri and Tailevu, played on August 29 in Fiji.
The Naitasiri flank Keresi Maya blindsided referee Peni Talemaivavalgi with a cheap shot to the face after disagreeing with a decision. The cowardly attack left the ref on the ground bleeding with a severely broken nose.
The Fiji Sun reports that hearing was conducted in line with World Rugby’s Regulation 17 where the player was represented by his legal representative and his Union Team Manager.
After hearing the parties on the nature of the Foul Play and Maya’s mitigation, the sanction was determined by the Learned Judicial Officer.
The tournament director and Fiji Rugby’s Operations manager, Sale Sorovaki said that all players owed a duty of care to ensure the safety of other players, match officials and any other administrative personnel and Maya’s act of Foul Play needed to be sanctioned appropriately.
FRU chief executive, John O’Connor says, that Fiji Rugby does not condone any form of violence against or abuse of match officials.
The Fiji Sun added that Going forward, O’Connor said that any player in the field who verbally abused the Match Official would be given a warning and should the player repeat the offense, he would be yellow carded.
The six-year suspension means that the 19-year-old Maya destroyed a budding career in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL), given that he was only playing for Naitasiri in order to kill time while his 3-year contract that was being set up with the Cronulla Sharks was cleared.