After the match on Sunday between Clermont and Toulon played in Clermont-Ferrand, which Toulon lost 25-19 after leading for much of the match, the Toulon owner, Mourad Boudjellal has had an attack on what he calls refereeing buggery (sodomy arbitrale). He did it in public knowing full well that it could have consequences for himself, but he was also quick to hint at the possibility of racism.
He said that it must be e big temptation for the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) to wipe him out. Saying that the last club president to be punished was Biarritz's Serge Blanco in 1996, Boudjellal added "after a back, an Arab" (Après un noir, un arabe.)
After Boudjellal's outburst, Pierre-Yves Revol, the president of the LNR, called Boudjellal to order and is looking to convene a disciplinary committee to have an inquiry into what was said.
Revol went on to say: “I personally find that these vulgar and course metaphors are unacceptable to all and in the first instance harmful to rugby.
“If he [Boudjellal's] wants to engage a debate about the refereeing, he should use other means to do it.
"Mourad Boudjellal's remarks bring only discredit to rugby."
Asked what he had against the refereeing of Christophe Berdos, Boudjellal said that he had been unable to withstand the pressures of the home crowd though he could not specify what decisions he found objectionable. he did say that it was possible, throughout a match, act against a team without making bias obvious.
Asked if he realised that he could be in trouble, Boudjellal said that he had known the risks from the start and that it was possible that he 'lose his licence'. He said he did not regret his remarks but found them amusing. He had not spoken of sodomy by accident. It was a word not much used in rugby. He used it to be provocative. He wanted money wasted by the upper echelons of the game to be spent on the players and referees. In the case of the referees it could be used to lift the standard of refereeing for refereeing really was a problem in France.
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