Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy receives three-match ban
Former Ireland fullback admitted he verbally abused a match official
Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy has received a three-match coaching ban after he admitted verbally abusing a match official. Photograph: Henry Browne/Getty Images
Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy has received a three-match coaching ban and been fined £1,500 (€1,700) after he admitted verbally abusing a match official.
The former Ireland fullback was charged by the English Rugby Football Union for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game.
It followed Leicester’s Premiership home defeat against Bath 10 days ago, with Murphy’s punishment being imposed by an independent disciplinary panel, the RFU announced.
His behaviour was described as “wholly unacceptable” by Jeremy Summers, the judicial officer who dealt with the case.
The RFU said the sanction would apply to the “first three meaningful games” of next season.
His fine, meanwhile, must go to a charity selected by the RFU elite referees department, with Murphy also instructed to write a letter of apology to Sean Davey, who was television match official for the Bath match.
The RFU added in a statement that Murphy must additionally write an open letter “to all Leicester players and officials apologising for his actions, and making it clear that match official abuse is entirely inconsistent with the values of the game.”
Leicester were beaten 32-31 by Bath at Welford Road, with the west country club snatching victory through a converted try during the dying minutes.
And it ended a dismal league campaign for the Tigers, who finished 11th and failed to quality for next season’s Champions Cup.
Summers said: “While the disappointment of the club’s season is well known, criticising the TMO as Mr Murphy did was both wholly unacceptable and entirely inconsistent with the values of the game.
“Unfortunately, match officials continue to be subject to improper attack, and those that find themselves before disciplinary panels in respect of such conduct should expect to be sanctioned appropriately.”