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Racing-Metro slaps ban on Chabal over referee claims

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-27

Racing-Metro banned French rugby icon Chabal on Tuesday over derogatory comments he made about referees in the French newspaper Le JDD. Chabal will miss just one Top 14 match.

AFP - France backrow forward Sebastien Chabal was unrepentant over derogatory comments he made about referees which have seen him suspended for a fortnight by his club Racing-Metro.

Racing-Metro slapped the ban on Chabal on Tuesday in the wake of his facing disciplinary action by the French Rugby Federation (FFR).

The FFR said it would be demanding that the Rugby National League (LNR) disciplinary commission summon the 33-year-old forward to explain his comments that the referees were biased.

"I'm sorry it's become a polemic, I'm sorry if people have been wounded. I say sorry for that because I don't want to attack anyone," Chabal told RTL radio as he launched his autobiography 'Ma petite etoile' (My Little Star).

"I'm sorry by what was published in an article by a certain Sunday newspaper. I don't speak spitefully about refereeing in my book, there are a dozen pages on it and you can't take words like that out of their context."

Chabal, capped 62 times but dropped for the final Six Nations match against Wales after their stunning loss to Italy, told the Journal Du Dimanche that "Top 14 referees are hopeless".

He claimed that they favoured Castres, whose former president is the LNR supremo Pierre-Yves Revol, and Biarritz, which is run by Revol's predecessor at the LNR, Serge Blanco.

"Each has his own mind. I don't think it's bad to speak of refereeing, that it's wrong to say that," Chabal said Wednesday.

"Referees don't have all the tools, all the weaponry to work well. I stress that it's a tough job, that I wouldn't do it for all the gold in the world."

Racing-Metro said Tuesday: "The club disapproves of the views of Sebastien Chabal in the article 'Player passionate about his sport' in the April 24 edition of the 'Journal du Dimanche' newspaper, even if they should be placed in its proper context.

"Racing-Metro 92, desirous of respecting the rules and the body of referees, after meeting with the player, have decided to suspend him until May 11 or until the decision of the LNR Disciplinary Commission."

The suspension will see Chabal miss just one Top 14 match as Racing are not involved this weekend as it is the European Cup semi-finals.

As they have already qualified for the end of season play-offs he may even have been rested for the final league match the weekend after next.

Date created : 2011-04-27

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