LONDON, 9 October – Namibia’s Renaldo Bothma has been suspended for two weeks after admitting an act of foul play contrary to Law 10.4(e) (dangerous tackling).
Following a review of video footage, Bothma was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Maurizio Vancini (Italy) under Law 10.4(e) for a dangerous high tackle during the 49th minute of Namibia’s Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool C match against Georgia at Sandy Park, Exeter on 7 October.
The hearing related to a consideration of sanction only given the admission of the act of foul play by the player. Bothma was suspended by independent Judicial Officer Alan Hudson (Canada) in accordance with the Rugby World Cup 2015 disciplinary process.
In its Memorandum on “Dangerous tackles (high tackles), dangerous grasping of neck and/or head area of player not in possession of the ball and dangerous grasping/holding of ball carrier above the line of the shoulders” dated 22 May, 2015, World Rugby stated that these types of tackles “above the line of the shoulders had the potential to cause serious injury”.
With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of two weeks. The Judicial Officer added one week for aggravation due to the need to deter this type of dangerous foul play. However, taking into account mitigating factors including his conduct prior to and at the hearing, his remorse, good character and clear disciplinary record, the Judicial Officer reduced the suspension to a period of two weeks.
In the context of the Rugby World Cup tournament a week equates to one match. The suspension takes effect immediately, therefore Bothma is suspended for Namibia’s final Pool C match against Argentina on 11 October. The suspension thereafter reverts to weeks and the player will miss his next scheduled match for Toyota Verblitz on 14 November. The player is free to play again on 15 November, 2015.
The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from receipt of the written decision.