World Rugby reasoning: 'Rassie showed no remorse'
SPOTLIGHT: World Rugby has thrown the proverbial book at South Africa’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, laying the blame squarely at his feet.
In a menacing 80-page written judgement, World Rugby revealed why they banned Erasmus for two months for releasing an hour-long video in which he criticised Australian referee Nic Berry for his ruling in the first Test between the Springboks and the British and Irish Lions in July.
Erasmus was also suspended from ‘all match-day activities’, including coaching, contact with match officials and media duties until September 30, 2022.
It means the world’s most famous (or infamous) water boy won’t be on the sidelines for the re-run of the 2019 World Cup Final – when England host the Boks at Twickenham on Saturday.
In the judgement, World Rugby described Erasmus’ actions as one of the most serious transgressions against match officials.
“This was an especially serious and egregious example of offending of this kind,” the World Rugby document said.
“It involved premeditated, multiple abusive and insulting comments and attacks on the officials’ integrity in the course of that 62-minute video.”
They also made it clear Erasmus intended the video top be released for “wider public dissemination” and that he also “threatened” the referee.
“RE [Erasmus] threatened a match official, which we have found was wholly unacceptable,” the judgement said.
“The Erasmus video was made public by or at his behest.
“His Misconduct has received widespread international attention and consequently brought the game considerably into disrepute.”
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They also touched on the fact that Erasmus contested the charges, at no stage acknowledged any fault and showed no remorse.
“A striking feature of RE’s evidence and the submissions made in mitigation is the failure to acknowledge that any part of the content of the video was abusive, insulting and/or offensive.
“Further there has been no apology to Nic Berry.”
World Rugby also suggested Erasmus deserves no sympathy.
“In the written submissions filed on his behalf, it is said that ‘the accusations against him and the disciplinary process has caused his family immense distress and harmed his reputation significantly’.
“This is said to be a ‘severe punishment’.
“With respect, it is wrong.
“The accusation and process are the product of his own conduct. He brought the proceedings on himself.
“He could have shortened them radically by accepting his misconduct.”
Erasmus, who was found guilty on all six charges brought by the game’s governing body, said he will appeal the decision.