Severino Somoza suspended for four weeks

(Rugby News Service) Thursday 13 September 2007
 Severino Somoza suspended for four weeks
Suspended: Portugal's Juan Severino Somoza

PARIS, 13 September - The Portuguese player Juan Severino Somoza was cited under Law 10(4)(a), namely striking an opponent with his head. The Player admitted the act of foul play and the Judicial Officer (JO), Christopher Quinlan, upheld the citing.

The act of foul play occurred in the match between Scotland v Portugal played on 9 September, 2007. In considering a sanction, the JO concluded that the offence was intentional, namely was a deliberate strike with the head. Contact was made with a vulnerable part of the victim (Nathan Hines), namely his head.

Further, Mr Hines was vulnerable, in that he was not looking at Mr. Somoza and therefore was not able to anticipate or prepare for the blow. It follows he was in no position to defend himself. In light of those factors, the JO determined the offending merited a mid range entry point.

There were no aggravating factors. Having regard to the player's admission, his clean and good disciplinary record, and other relevant mitigating factors the JO reduced what would otherwise have been an eight-week suspension to one of four weeks. He was therefore suspended from playing rugby from 10 September to 7 October, 2007 inclusive. He is free to play on 8 October, 2007.

The player has 48 hours in which to appeal the decision.

RNS dk/kb