WATCH: Rugby player banned for three years after tackling female referee

The incident occurred in an Italian league match

BY Adrian Collins 08:37 Friday 16 December 2016, 8:37 16 Dec 2016

Image: Tutto Sport/YouTube

An Argentine rugby player has been banned from the sport for three years after tackling a female referee in an Italian league game. 

The decision was handed down by the Federazione Italiana Rugby (Italian Rugby Federation) to Bruno Andres Doglioli for barging over Maria Beatrice Benvenuti in the game between Vicenza and Valsugana. 

Footage of the incident, which has surfaced on YouTube, shows the impact of the tackle on Benvenuti, who was taken to hospital after the incident suffering from whiplash, according to The Guardian.

Doglioli's club Vicenza issued a statement on the tackle, saying: "It’s an incident for which there is no justification whatsoever. It was a momentary loss of control by the player who, in decades of playing, has always behaved professionally and correctly.

"Bruno Doglioli, aware of the severity of what happened, wants to first of all send to referee Maria Beatrice Benvenuti his most sincere regrets," the statement continued. "At the same time, he apologises to his team-mates, members of the club, sponsors and the fans for an incident that risks damaging the image of this marvellous sport."

The three-year ban handed down by Federazione Italiana Rugby is the longest ban they have issued in 20 years. 

Via The Guardian

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week