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Racing criticise 'ludicrous' and 'grotesque' decision to only fine Saracens

The French club are not happy.

FRENCH CLUB RACING 92 have expressed their dismay at an independent disciplinary committee’s decision not to deduct points from Saracens for fielding an ineligible player in their Champions Cup tie last month.

Racing labeled the decision “ludicrous” and “grotesque” in an official statement.

Saracens used USA international Titi Lamositele off the bench in their 27-24 pool-stage win over Racing at Allianz Park last month, having failed to realise that the prop’s work permit had expired the day before the game.

george-kruis-celebrates-at-the-final-whistle Saracens beat Racing last month. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Champions Cup organisers brought a misconduct charge against Saracens after the English club had notified them of the mistake. 

At Friday evening’s disciplinary hearing, the independent committee accepted that Saracens had made “an administrative oversight” and imposed a €50,000 a fine on the club, with €25,000 suspended until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Racing had hoped to see Saracens deducted points for fielding an ineligible player, which would have meant the English club missing out on their scheduled Champions Cup quarter-final away to Leinster in April.

Racing had also expressed a desire to be retrospectively awarded the winning match points from last month’s fixture, which would have seen the Top 14 club earn a home quarter-final rather than their confirmed away tie against Clermont.

However, the disciplinary committee did not feel Saracens deserved any punishment beyond the small fine, much to the anger of Racing.

Under the title of “ludicrous,” the Racing statement bemoans the lenient decision.

“Following the misconduct complaint lodged by the EPCR against Saracens, the independent disciplinary committee decided on the following penalty: a fine of €50,000, with €25,000 suspended until the end of the 2020/21 season,” reads the Racing statement.

“Racing 92 take note of this grotesque decision. Congratulations to Saracens for this new achievement.

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“We now know that a club can play in its highest national division by forgetting about the salary cap for several seasons.

“We now know that a club has the possibility of being accepted in a major international competition this season while continuing to mock its rules.

“We now know that a club risks only 0.07% of its budget if it plays an ineligible international player.

“Rugby, the school of life, this wonderful sport, does not have the same values for everyone but we will be happy to go and play against our friends from Clermont.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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