England World Cup fallout
Tindall criticises RFU after appeal
November 29, 2011
Mike Tindall is still clearly upset with his treatment from the RFU © Getty Images
Mike Tindall has responded to Monday's appeal hearing stating that although pleased they have cleared him of misleading the Rugby Football Union, he feels he has been made a "scapegoat".
Following Monday's appeal hearing - the England centre had his £25,000 fine reduced to £15,000 and was also reinstated into the England elite player squad. But despite the change in penalty, Tindall claims that he still believes the punishment to be disproportionate and admits he feels let down by the way the RFU handled the affair.
"While I accept the decision made by the disciplinary appeal panel last night I still maintain that the level of fine is not in line with other RFU disciplinary cases," Tindall said in a statement released by the Rugby Players' Assocation. "I absolutely accept my share of responsibility for what happened in Queenstown and that I drank too much that night. It unfortunately created a level of media interest which was an unwanted distraction for myself, my teammates, Martin Johnson and his staff. I can again only apologise unreservedly for this.
"I am deeply disappointed by the way the RFU has chosen to handle the situation and I have felt throughout the disciplinary process that my case was made unnecessarily political and public by the RFU and that I ended up being made a scapegoat. Yesterday's decision goes some way to reflect a fairer assessment of what actually happened during the World Cup. It had been suggested that I intentionally misled people in relation to the events in Queenstown and I am pleased following this appeal process that it has been made clear that I did not do so. I feel somewhat vindicated by the decision to reinstate me back into the Elite Player Squad.
"It is the ultimate honour to play for your country and I am proud and privileged to have done this for over 11 years. I have always put my heart and soul into playing for England. For now, my immediate focus is playing for Gloucester on Friday and I would like to thank the great team of people around me as well as the fans who have been hugely supportive. I would finally like to thank Damian Hopley and the RPA as well as Owen Eastwood at Lewis Silkin for the help and advice I received from them throughout what has been a difficult and frustrating time for me."
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