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Connacht coach Pat Lam fined €8,000 for referee outburst

The former Samoan international appeared to call the integrity of referee Leighton Hodges into question.

Image: CameraSport/Ian Cook/INPHO

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Pat Lam has been levied with an €8,000 fine for his public criticism of referee Leighton Hodges.

Lam also appeared to question the integrity of Hodges in an interview with KnockOn.ie, after the Welshman made a late call as assistant referee during Connacht’s loss to Cardiff Blues earlier this month.

€5,000 of Lam’s fine is suspended, but he has also been ordered to contribute towards the legal costs of the independent disciplinary committee, which upheld the complaint of misconduct against him.

“While we understand that passions and emotions run high during and after matches,” said Pro12 disciplinary officer Jon Davis, “we have to uphold the reputation of the tournament and protect our match officials from public criticism and attacks on their character.

If coaches or others wish to provide feedback – positive or negative – on the performance of match officials, we at Pro12 welcome that feedback, but there is a clear mechanism for providing that feedback privately.”

Lam was also issued a written warning for ‘similar conduct’ last season, but has the right to appeal this decision.

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Sean Farrell

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