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Sale's Steve Diamond gets touchline ban for verbally abusing match officials

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond has been given a six-week touchline ban after verbally abusing match officials earlier this month.

Diamond, appearing before a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel on Wednesday, pleaded guilty after being charged with " conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and/or the game" f ollowing the Sharks' Anglo-Welsh Cup win over Harlequins on February 3.

The 49-year-old will serve three of those weeks immediately and the remaining three weeks will be suspended until the end of the 2018/19 season.

Diamond has also been fined £3,000, half of which is payable immediately and the rest again suspended until the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

Both suspended elements will be activated in the event of another similar offence.

The RFU disciplinary panel said: "The panel deprecates any abuse of match officials, regardless of the circumstances. Such behaviour is contrary to the spirit of rugby and the core values of the game and will be treated seriously by disciplinary panels."

Diamond will be suspended from entering the playing enclosure/technical area, and approaching and talking to all match officials during and after the games.

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