Mourad Boudjellal: ‘I will not appeal, I will not pay’
Toulon president accused of condoning homophobic conduct and fined €75,000
Mourad Boudjellal has received a hefty fine from the EPCR. Photograph: Getty Images
Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal is refusing to pay an EPCR fine of €75,000 for discriminatory comments made during last year’s competition.
Boudjellal also received a warning of a further €25,000 fine, and a ban from all EPCR competitions for three years following any similar offence. Toulon would also be subject to a deduction of five match points in their next EPCR competition.
He told French publication Midi Olympique: “I will not appeal, I will not pay and I will lodge a complaint for defamation.”
In an EPCR statement referencing Boudjellal’s comments (following his team’s Champions Cup encounter against Benetton last January) it was explained that he had, “made comments that among other things allegedly condoned homophobic conduct, discriminated against and insulted various groups, and brought the game of rugby into disrepute by attacking, disparaging and criticising EPCR.”
The EPCR committee also noted aggravating factors which contributed to their decision, “including poor disciplinary records and poor conduct during the disciplinary process, and that these increased the severity of the sanctions imposed.”
Boudjellal’s comments were in relation to the alleged homophobic remarks of Mathieu Bastareaud which were captured on camera during that match against Benetton. He told reporters: “At no point did Mathieu Bastareaud make a judgement on the sexual orientation of the player in question.
“I am not homophobic but I have already called someone a fagg*t. It’s become customary, it’s the first thing that comes to mind in an altercation.
“I am worried. What I fear is the mormon side of EPCR with the Welsh and the Irish.”
Boudjellal - who last Saturday received France’s highest accolade, the Légion d’Honneur, as part of Bastille Day celebrations - has the right to appeal the decisions with the EPCR.
However he insists he has no intention to do so. When asked whether he will file a legal complaint, the Toulon president said:
“Yes. I asked my lawyer to do it right away. I will not appeal, I will not pay and I will sue for defamation. I will not let this accusation of homophobia go and I am tired of this harassment.”