• Heineken Cup

Stade Francais' David Attoub given 70-week gouging ban

Scrum.com staff
January 19, 2010
David Attoub will not return to action until April 2011 © Getty Images
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Stade Francais prop David Attoub has been hammered with a 70-week ban for gouging Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris. The ban means Attoub will not be available to play again until April 22, 2011.

The incident occurred during Stade's Heineken Cup loss to Ulster at Ravenhill on December 12, 2009, a game in which scrum-half Julien Dupuy also gouged Ferris. Dupuy was later banned for 23 weeks, ending his season.

ERC disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett described Attoub's actions as "the worst act of contact with the eyes that I have had to deal with: it is a case of deliberate eye gouging." Blackett's decision was informed by Attoub's disciplinary record, which includes a previous ban for making contact with the eyes, and his not guilty plea.

Stade are likely to appeal the ban given their reaction to Dupuy's sanction, which was described as "excessive, very political and anti-French" by club president Max Guazzini.

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