Scottish Rugby cracks down on referee abuse

Scottish Rugby’s Discipline Panel has suspended two players for abuse and criticism of match officials.

Selkirk captain, Andrew Renwick and Morgan Academy FP centre, Douglas Russell were subject to disciplinary hearings following matches between Selkirk and Watsonians at Philiphaugh and Morgan Academy FP and Perthshire at North Inch both on Saturday 31 August.
 
Further to the advisory issued at the SRU AGM in June – that Scottish Rugby views any such abuse as wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated, irrespective of whether it is on the field by a player or off the field by players, coaches or club officials – the Panel suspended Mr Renwick for nine weeks up to and including Saturday 2 November 2013 and Mr Russell for ten weeks up to and including Saturday 9 November 2013.
 
Graham Ireland, Scottish Rugby’s Head of Regulation, said: “We made it clear at the annual general meeting that referee abuse is unacceptable and that it will not be tolerated. This was followed up with advice to referees and members of the independent disciplinary panel, in the ‘Disciplinary Memorandum: Abuse of match officials’, a copy of which was provided to all our clubs at the start of the season.

“Given that respect is one of our sport’s core values, it is disappointing to see that these two individuals, to date, have not taken on board what we have said. However, hopefully the sanctions imposed by the independent panel will acts a deterrent to others and that there will be no repeat of such behaviour throughout the remainder of the season.”

The updated guide to Scottish Rugby’s discipline rules, and the Memorandum in respect of referee abuse, are available to download from www.scottishrugby.org/values/discipline.