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France lock fined €30k for 'cheats' outburst and criticism of Wayne Barnes

Yoann Maestri voiced his disgust with the officials after his team’s Six Nations victory against Wales.

France lock Yoann Maestri.
France lock Yoann Maestri.
Image: Christophe Ena

FRANCE LOCK YOANN Maestri has been fined €30,000 for misconduct after his country’s 20-18 Six Nations win against Wales 11 days ago.

Les Bleus eventually overcame the Welsh in Cardiff in the 100th minute after a farcical run of stoppages and Maestri was far from impressed by the manner in which referee Wayne Barnes handled proceedings.

Speaking to French website Rugbyrama after his side’s win, Maestri said he felt “a little disgust at having been refereed this way until the end [of the game].

“The Anglo-Saxon referees constantly talk about fair play,” said Maestri. “They see us, the French, as cheats but it would be better to concentrate on this Anglo-Saxon composure, which sometimes lacks of bit of candour.”

France vice-captain Maestri, 29, was subsequently charged with misconduct for his comments and at a disciplinary hearing in London today it was revealed that he has been fined €30,000 for his outburst.

“The independent Six Nations Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Roger Morris (Wales), along with Achille Reali (Italy) and David Martin (Ireland) reviewed all of the evidence (including the media articles written after Mr Maestri had made the comments) and heard submissions from and on behalf of, respectively, the disciplinary officer and Mr Maestri,” the statement read.

“Mr Maestri accepted that he had committed an act of misconduct and openly apologised for making the comments.

“The disciplinary committee imposed on Mr Maestri a fine of €30,000, with one half (€15,000) payable within 30 days, and one half (€15,000) suspended until the end of the 2017/18 season.

“The disciplinary committee also ordered Mr Maestri to pay Six Nations’ legal costs.”

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