An astonishing incident has occurred in the first-half of a French Cup rugby league match between Saint-Esteve and Toulouse.
The first rule of any sport is that respect for the respective officials is paramount.
However, this is a premise which an unidentified member of the Saint-Esteve playing staff is apparently unaware of.
Approximately 25 minutes into the fixture, referee Benjamin Casty awarded a yellow card to the player in question and asked him to promptly leave the field of play.
Taking exception to the decision, the player appears to verbally challenge the referee before dealing a knock-out blow to the face.
It was certainly a punch that Anthony Joshua and/or Wladimir Klitschko would be proud of producing during their showdown at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening.
However, this is rugby, not boxing, and although scraps do tend to happen in the game, a player should never lay their hands on an official, especially knock them out.
After assaulting the official, the player then goes on to throw several more punches at members of the opposition as the violence threatens to turn into a brawl.
Having been left prone on the pitch, Casty was quickly taken to hospital for treatment on jaw and cheekbone injuries.
The incident will have far-reaching consequences as not only is the player in question set to receive a lifetime ban form the sport, but the club’s President Christian Cozza has suggested that he is likely to resign.
President of the French Rugby League Federation Marc Palanques has condemned the incident unconditionally, commenting: “I hope the National Disciplinary Commission, which will meet on Wednesday, will be uncompromising.”
See the scarcely believable transgression in the video below. Lifetime ban? We think so!
As you can see from the video, the punch immediately floors the referee, much to the shock of those in attendance.
Not only that, the player then went after others who initially went over to try and calm him down.
One seriously angry man that needed both teams and coaching staff to calm him down.
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