Fijian winger Josaia Raisuqe has been handed a 5-week ban for lifting a referee in celebration of his French second division side’s victory two weeks ago.
Raisuqe reportedly lifted referee Laurent Milotte after his 14-man Nevers’ side held on to beat Beziers 30-25 on January 8, consequently picking up a red card.
In handing down their decision, the League National Rugby (LNR) said the player was punished “for action against a game official” and for “disrespecting the authority of an official”.
The LNR, in arriving at the decision, set the benchmark at six weeks given the “higher degree” of the offence. The disciplinary committee added another week “after taking into account the aggravating factors” including a review of his disciplinary record. The committee then reduced the ban by two weeks after considering mitigating factors including his expression of remorse.
The incident went viral on social media networks. Raisuqe reportedly told the media that he “was just happy”.
Raisuqe first played for Fiji in sevens rugby. He was part of the national 7s team to the 2015 Hong Kong 7s. The same year he signed for French Top 14 side State Francais, but was let go in August 2017. A month later, Raisuqe joined Pro D2 side Nevers where he has been since.
Photo Source: World Rugby