Harvey Biljon: Jersey Reds boss gets one-game ban for referee comments

Harvey Biljon
Harvey Biljon has led Jersey Reds to third place in the Championship this season

Jersey Reds boss Harvey Biljon has been given a one-match ban for comments he made about a match official.

Biljon was charged after comments made following his side's 28-19 loss at Bedford on Boxing Day.

Biljon will be unable to coach the Reds in their Championship game at home to Doncaster on Saturday, but will be able to attend as a spectator.

He must also give two presentations on 'the core values and the importance of respect for match officials'.

Biljon admitted a charge of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and the game but argued at an independent disciplinary panel hearing on Thursday that he should not be subject to a suspension.

"The panel were not persuaded by the submission that the offence merited a reprimand only and that any suspension could itself be suspended for a period. This kind of conduct means that an immediate suspension is appropriate," said panel chairman Martin Picton.

"Mitigation was given on account of the full acceptance of the charge, his apology and remorse for the comment, the open and honest way in which Mr Biljon engaged with the panel, the supporting character evidence and the lack of any previous similar offending.

"In addition, Mr Biljon spoke of the steps he had taken to educate others at the club since the incident which the panel commended."

Biljon's side are third in the Championship, two points off leaders Doncaster with a game in hand.

"I recognise that my comments were not appropriate and that I had made a big mistake for which I apologised to the referee and his colleagues at the RFU during the week after the game," Biljon said in a statement on the club website.

"I know it is important to respect match officials and recognise that I am accountable and that there needs to be a sanction in situations like this.

"I respect the panel's verdict and am now looking to complete the sanction and then to move on."

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