Rugby player banned for life after shocking attack on referee

A Namibian rugby player has been banned for life after a shocking attack on a referee.

The individual, who has not been named, had been playing for Grootfontein Rugby Club last month when he launched at the official.

Footage of the incident shows the player in question reacting angrily after a yellow card is shown to one of his team mates, seemingly for dissent, during the match against the Reho Falcons.

The man runs from distance and leaps at the referee, knocking them to the ground, before being dragged off.

A disciplinary panel has levied a lifetime playing ban for the individual, who will be unable to have any involvement at all in rugby for three years after receiving a 156-week suspension.

“A serious incident occurred involving a Grootfontein Rugby Club player who tackled the match referee, causing the game to end prematurely,” read a Facebook statement from the Namibian Rugby Union (NRU) after a disciplinary hearing onMay 30.

“Following a disciplinary hearing, the NRU has issued a lifetime ban from playing rugby and a 156-week ban from all rugby activities, effective May 30.

“The committee emphasised the severity of the offence, noting the potential for serious injury to the match official, the deliberate nature of the act, and the negative impact on the reputation of the NRU and the sport of rugby internationally.

“Our commitment to the safety and integrity of rugby remains unwavering. Full details and the right to appeal can be found in our statement.”

Footage on Grootfontein’s Facebook suggests that the club were trailing by two points at the time of the incident, with the Falcons having won a turnover penalty on their own line.

The official appears to immediately bring the game to an end, with the two sides shaking hands soon afterwards.