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Toulon threatened with points deduction, Boudjellal fined for staunch Bastareaud defence

Defending his centre’s homophobic slur will cost the Top 14 club owner over €75,000.

THE EPCR HAVE issued a €75,000 fine to Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal and handed down a suspended points deduction to the club after a January tirade against the ‘morality’ of the tournament organisers.

Boudjellal spoke with Rugbyrama.fr after centre Mathieu Bastareaud had been cited (and later banned after pleading guilty) for calling an opponent a “faggot” and issued a staunch defence of his player.

Mathieu Bastareaud Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

“In my view, we’re talking about an insult that has entered common language,” said the comic book millionaire, adding, “I’m not homophobic either, but I have called someone a faggot. It has entered into common usage, it’s what comes to mind first in a row. But we’re in an age in which morality has taken on a great importance.”

Boudjellal also said he feared what ruling ‘”the Mormon side of the EPCR with the Welsh and the Irish” would make on Bastareaud.

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European Rugby Champions Cup Quarter Final - Racing 92 Vs RC Toulon - Paris Source: Liewig Christian

The EPCR, who run the Champions and Challenge Cup tournaments, announced their investigation in January and today issued their ruling: a €75,000 fine for Boudjellal with €25,000 suspended ‘for any similar offending or misconduct by Mr Boudjellal in any rugby jurisdiction’ over the next three years.

Mr Boudjellal’s comments discriminated against and insulted a number of different groups and that they brought the game of rugby into disrepute.”

The Top14 club were hit with a five-point points deduction for EPCR tournaments, to be enforced in the case of ‘any similar offending or misconduct by the club or any of its representatives in any rugby jurisdiction’ in the next three seasons.’

In its decision released today, the EPCR’s disciplinary committee (chaired by Philip Evans, with Dan While and Jean-Noel Couraud) stressed the seriousness in which they viewed the offence and noted:

There were several aggravating factors, including poor disciplinary records and poor conduct during the disciplinary process, and that these increased the severity of the sanctions imposed.

That poor conduct included ignoring directions made by the independent Disciplinary Committee and responding derisively to requests from the Committee for information.”

Neither Boudjellal nor a Toulon representative chose to attend the 4 July hearing in London and have been ordered to pay the EPCR’s legal costs.

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Sean Farrell

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