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Dupont slammed for comments after World Cup exit

NEWS: Joel Jutge, World Rugby’s head of match officials, has slammed France captain Antoine Dupont for the remarks he made following his team’s exit from the World Cup.

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Following France’s 28-29 loss at the hands of the Springboks in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, the French captain used the post-match press conference to complain about the quality of the officiating on the day.

Jutge has now hit out at the Les Bleus scrumhalf for the remarks he made in an interview with French publication Midi Olympique.

Jutge specified that he does not condone Dupont’s comments, however the former international referee aims to counter the various “movements of abuse and threats” against match officials caused by these declarations.

At the post-match press conference, Dupont said: “There are clear and obvious situations which have not been whistled but I don’t want to get angry… I’m not sure that the refereeing was up to the level of the challenge”.

In an interview granted exclusively to Midi Olympique, the boss of the men with the whistle explains why the content of the Toulouse player’s comments could have a negative impact: “As responsible for the referees, I cannot endorse what Antoine Dupont said , because it gave rise to a terrible wave of abuse and hatred online towards Ben (O’Keeffe).

“But I know the man, and I have no doubt about his moral values ​​and the way he perceives the exchanges between referees and players. He is a huge champion and a good person whom we respect, but I repeat, I do not condone what he said that day. We all know that he was under enormous pressure to return following his injury.”

Referee safety

Jutge, as the boss of referees, also calls for protecting the profession from the various abuses that can impact match officials and reveals that he is worried about the physical safety of the officials.

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“I had anticipated that if France were eliminated in the quarter-finals, it would be difficult for us, because of the emotion it would arouse.

“To be honest, I had thought that it would perhaps be necessary to to be able to physically protect our referees, because I felt a drift coming, with this very strong enthusiasm behind the XV of France.

“It was not necessary because the security at the Stade de France works very well  But we must not hide that the days following the quarter-final were difficult.”

 

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