Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Fritz handed three-week ban

Florian Fritz

Toulouse centre Florian Fritz has been banned for three weeks and fined £12,700 by a European Rugby Cup disciplinary hearing in Dublin.

The 27-year-old France international was called to appear before the hearing following his sending off in the French giants' Heineken Cup defeat by Wasps on January 23.

Fritz was dismissed by referee Alain Rolland for a dangerous tackle early in the second half which saw him lift Wasps wing Tom Varndell before driving him into the ground.

Fritz also faced a misconduct charge after making a gesture towards the home support as he left the field.

He contested the dangerous tackle, but admitted making the gesture.

An ERC statement read: "After hearing submissions from both parties and considering all the evidence, the independent judicial officer, Robert Williams (Wales), upheld the red card.

"Mr Williams determined that the tackle had been reckless rather than intentional and he noted that Mr Varndell had suffered no injury.

Mr Williams found that the offence was in the lower end of the level of seriousness for one of this type.

"Having taken into account all aggravating factors, including the need to deter other players from tackles of this nature, and all mitigating factors, including Mr Fritz's good conduct at the hearing, he imposed a suspension of three weeks. Mr Fritz will be free to play on Monday, 14 February 2011.

"The independent Judicial Officer also upheld the misconduct complaint against the player, who apologised for the offensive hand gesture, and fined him 15,000 euros plus costs."