Tony Clubb's EIGHT match ban for using racist remark
Wigan prop Tony Clubb has been handed an eight match ban by a rugby league disciplinary hearing.
He faced a Grade F charge of “unacceptable language/abuse based on national or ethnic origin", and was found guilty by the independent operational rules tribunal.
The tribunal, chaired by His Honour Judge Guy Kearl QC, considered submissions from both players and clubs, the match official’s report, broadcast footage and character references.
In his judgement, which will be published in full on the RFL website, HHJ Kearl said: "“We have considered the evidence of both players and the circumstances surrounding the allegation and find that we are reasonably satisfied, taking into account the seriousness of the charge, that the words were said, albeit in the heat of the moment, but nevertheless were said.
“They do constitute unacceptable language based on [a player’s] racial and ethnic origin and therefore we find that this was serious misconduct which has brought the game into disrepute.
“On the other hand we have considered the character references placed before us by Wigan Warriors from those who know (Tony Clubb) well at the club. We do not find that he is a racist, simply that on this occasion he used unacceptable language in the heat of the moment.
“We have therefore reduced the penalty to take account of his character and good disciplinary record to a suspension for eight matches and a £500 fine.”
Veteran prop Clubb will now be sidelined until July.
He had been placed on report after Hull FC's Andre Savelio made the complaint to referee James Child during Thursday's Super League match, which Wigan won 16-14.
Savelio later claimed on Twitter he was called a "stupid Polynesian ****".
Wigan, who face Hull FC in a Challenge Cup tie on Saturday, decided to stand the prop down while an investigation took place.
The RFL's match review panel scrutinised the Sky Sports footage and audio on Monday decided to charge Clubb with the most serious offence, Grade F, which carries a suspension range of at least eight weeks, and with no upper ceiling.
The Tribunal is chaired by a serving or retired judge, and two side members who are two ex-players. The tribunal upheld the one-match bans which had been imposed on the Hull players Jake Connor and Brad Fash at Monday’s meeting of the Match Review Panel, for a Grade B high tackle and Grade B dangerous contact respectably.
Neither appeal was ruled to be frivolous, so no further punishment was imposed.