Top 14 Orange
Boudjellal to appeal ban
January 29, 2012
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal watches his side in action against Bayonne © Getty Images
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal is to appeal the 130-day ban he was handed this week for comments about the standard of refereeing in the Top 14.
The outspoken Boudjellal hit the headlines earlier this month in the wake of his side's loss to Clermont Auvergne by claiming his side had been "sodomised" by referee Christophe Berdos. He was subsequently called before a Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) disciplinary hearing earlier this week and handed a hefty sanction that he intends to dispute.
"I will be appealing," Boudjellal said following his side's rout of Bayonne at the Stade Felix Mayol on Saturday. Boudjellal, who is banned from taking his usual pitchside viewing position, watched his side record their ninth win of the Top 14 campaign from the roof of the players' tunnel.
Last week the French Rugby Referees Union (UNAR) threatened to sue Boudjellal for defamation - a threat Boudjellal greeted with humour. "I am not surprised that they are attacking me. With what they are paid, they need the money."
In related news, LNR president Pieree-Yves Revol, a forceful critic of Boudjellal's recent outburst, has hinted he may step down if he does not boast the support of the clubs. "My resignation could may be welcomed by anyone who wants to set fire to rugby," he told RCM. "I think I will end my term as long as I feel that my ideas on a certain ethic of rugby and other major issues are shared. And we find the serenity needed to make that work. "
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.