Amlin Challenge Cup
Cheika handed fine for verbal abuse
ESPNscrum Staff
July 20, 2011
Stade Francais coach Michael Cheika, Leeds v Stade Francais, Amlin Challenge Cup, Headingley, Leeds, England, October 17, 2010
Cheika has the right to appeal his five-figure fine © Getty Images

Stade Francais director of rugby Michael Cheika has been dealt a hefty fine for verbally abusing officials during and after last season's Amlin Challenge Cup final defeat to Harlequins.

An independent disciplinary panel decided to suspend 50% of Cheika's €20,000 (£17,592) fine until June 30, 2013 on condition that he faces no further misconduct charges during that period. Cheika admitted making disparaging comments to match officials both at half time and immediately after the final whistle at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The former Leinster boss also pleaded guilty to making offensive remarks to an employee of tournament organisers European Rugby Cup Ltd after Harlequins had snatched a late 19-18 victory. Cheika was fined a total of €15,000 (£13,100) for the first charge and €5000 (£4,400) for the second, with half of each suspended for two years. Cheika was also found liable for the costs of the hearing.

The independent disciplinary committee was chaired by Simon Thomas (Wales) and also comprised Mark McParland (Ireland) and Antony Davies (England). Thomas said: "In reaching its decision, the independent disciplinary committee had at the forefront of its mind one of the core values of rugby, that of respect, which match officials and others involved in the game are entitled to be shown at all times."

Both parties have the right to appeal the decision.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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