Rugby

French rugby chiefs ban Radosavljevic for record 26 weeks for racist outburst

Ludovic Radosavljevic, who was banned for nearly seven months for racist comments while playing for Provence Rugby against Nevers at the start of September, won the French Top 14 with Castres in 2018.
Ludovic Radosavljevic, who was banned for nearly seven months for racist comments while playing for Provence Rugby against Nevers at the start of September, won the French Top 14 with Castres in 2018. REMY GABALDA AFP/File

French rugby union's disciplinary watchdogs on Thursday banned the Provence Rugby scrum-half Ludovic Radosavljevic for nearly seven months for his racist outburst during his side's second division clash against Nevers on 3 September

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The 32-year-old told Christian Ambadiang from Cameroon: "I'm going to burn you, banana-eater."

Ambadiang denounced the comments on social media after the match without identifying the culprit who he said had apologised for words that he said had been uttered in the heat of the moment.

But soon after Ambadiang's post, Radosavljevic admitted his guilt.

Following an investigation by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) - which runs Pro D2 and the French rugby federation - Radosavljevic was slapped with a record punishment of 26 weeks.

The veteran, who won three top flight titles during 11 years with Clermont and Castres, will only be able to play in Provence Rugby's final two games of the season against Oyonnax and Mont-de-Marsan.

Radosavljevic, who had been facing a year-long ban, was found guilty of breaching the rules which forbid a verbal aggression based on religion, colour, nationality, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

Watchdogs said they were lenient because he had swiftly admitted his error.

"Because of his clean record and his expression of remorse before the hearing and at the hearing, the penalty has been reduced by the committee by 26 weeks," the LNR added.

Neither Radosavljevic nor Ambadiang spoke publicly after the hearing at the LNR headquarters in central Paris.

Provence Rugby apologised to Ambadiang immediately after the incident.

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