PARIS, 9 October – Following a RWC 2007 Judicial Hearing, the Judicial Officer, Bruce Squire QC, upheld an amended citing complaint against the Fiji player Seremaia Bai for a dangerous tackle on a South Africa player in the match between South Africa and Fiji on Sunday 7 October 2007 in Marseille.
The complaint was upheld on the basis the player accepted the tackle he made on the South Africa player was dangerous, involving contact with the South Africa player’s head, and the Judicial Officer’s assessment it was recklessly executed. The South Africa player was temporarily dazed by the tackle but fortunately suffered no serious injury.
The Judicial Officer, referring to the IRB Rules and cases of a similar nature during RWC 2007, found the offence to be within the least serious category, involving an entry point of two weeks suspension.
The Judicial Officer found there were no aggravating features but a number of mitigating factors that could be considered in the player’s favour. Principal amongst these was the fact that the player had a previously unblemished record over a lengthy playing career in a number of countries.
As a result, the Judicial Officer reduced the period of suspension to one week.
Because Fiji’s participation in RWC 2007 has ended and the player will not begin playing competitive rugby again until the weekend of 26/27 October 2007, the suspension was applied to all rugby for the period up to and including 28 October 2007, preventing the player from playing competitive rugby for one week.
The player has 48 hours in which to appeal the decision.