Opinion | SPORTS

Leone Cabenatabua: Ref’s Red Card Call Was Wrong Admits Judiciary

The judiciary went through all statements and evidence through the video footage before ruling that the referee’s (Hsieh) call was WRONG but the result of the match still stands. The case was expunged.
27 Jan 2020 12:17
Leone Cabenatabua: Ref’s Red Card Call Was Wrong Admits Judiciary
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s captain Raijeli Daveua on her way to score against New Zealand at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, on January 26, 2020. Photo: Bruce Southwick/ZoomFiji

Opinion:

Emily Hsieh is the referee that deprived our Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team a spot in the Cup semi-final of the New Zealand 7s in Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday.

The Fijiana won their pool opener against England 26-19 and were playing China in their second pool game when Hsieh struck.

In the third minute of the first half Fijiana forward Roela Radiniyavuna was held without the ball by a Chinese player and was to trying to free herself. In stepped Hsieh who blew her whistle and dished out the red card claiming that Radiniyavuni had used a closed fist.

Hsieh did not even want to consult the other match officials or even tried to seek for a video review.

The Fijians were a player short for the most part of the game and went down 17-12, which ended any hopes of making the Cup semi-final.

If they had won the Fijiana side could have come second in their pool and stand a chance of qualifying as the best second-place team. However, it was not to be.

A few hours later, Radiniyavuni and head coach Saiasi Fuli appeared before the judiciary to make their submission and mitigation over the incident.

The judiciary went through all statements and evidence through the video footage before ruling that the referee’s (Hsieh) call was WRONG but the result of the match still stands. The case was expunged.

What good would that do since the damage has been done?

The question here is what sort of penalty will World Rugby hand out to such referees (who made wrong calls)?

Are they going to receive a warning and told not to re-offend or are they going to suspend them from taking part in the Series and the Olympics as well?

Playing in the HSBC World Sevens Series demands a lot from the players, who have time and again rose to the occasion and that’s why the sport in now being played in the Olympics.

But the same cannot be said about the standard of refereeing especially for Tier 2 teams like Fiji and Samoa who are on the receiving end for most the time.

Gutsy performance

Meanwhile, the Fijiana 7s team took New Zealand to the wire before bowing 38-21 in the final pool game yesterday.

In a gutsy performance, they scored three tries to Lusia Tisolo, captain, Raijeli Daveua and Ana Maria Naimasi while Viniana Riwai kicked over the conversions.

After the England game, coach Fuli said the team were still work in progress.

“We’ve been working hard for the past three month but we are still trying to get there,” he said.

Edited by Sheldon Chanel

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