Armitage appeal against 12-week ban
Toulon's Delon Armitage has appealed against a 12-week ban for abusive language directed at Leicester Tigers supporters after a European Rugby Champions Cup match on December 7, European Professional Cup Rugby has announced.
An independent d isciplinary committee found that Armitage had directed abusive language at Leicester supporters after the match at Welford Road, which Leicester won 25-21, and was therefore guilty of misconduct.
The appeal will be heard in London on January 8, 2015 by an independent appeal committee consisting of Lorne Crerar (Scotland), chairman, Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and Simon Thomas (Wales).
The disciplinary committee said Armitage's previous record was taken into account when they made their judgement on December 21.
" We considered the player's previous record and concluded that he is an habitual offender against the laws of the game, and one for whom there needs to be a deterrent to combat a clear pattern of offending, both on and off the field," read the judgement.
"The player is without doubt an exceptionally talented individual, but he has an appalling disciplinary record, both on and off the field."
Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal responded by warning the French club could take legal action against the Leicester supporters whose testimony led to the 31-year-old English full-back being banned.
Boudjellal told newspaper La Provence: "It's incomprehensible. This is an extraordinary decision which rests only on the allegations of two opposition supporters, whose objectivity we can legitimately put in doubt.
"But there is no formal proof, no official document, not even television pictures to attest to the veracity of these testimonies.
"We aren't discounting the eventuality of going after these two supporters in court for false testimonies."
It was Armitage's second post-match misconduct case in the last four years, meaning an extra four weeks were added to the eight-match ban sanctioned by the committee.
Armitage will be suspended until March 8 next year, subject to appeals.