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Fiji Rugby Confirms Maya’s Six-Year Ban

This sanction comes after a disciplinary hearing was conducted by an independent Judicial Officer appointed under the Terms of Participation of the 2020 Fiji Rugby Skipper Cup Competition.
08 Sep 2020 10:11
Fiji Rugby Confirms Maya’s Six-Year Ban
Keresi Maya (left) after his hearing at the Nausori Magistrates Court on August 31, 2020. Photo: Shalveen Chand

The Fiji Rugby Union has confirmed that Naitasiri Under-19 lock forward, Keresi Maya, has been banned from all levels of rugby in Fiji and abroad for six years.

This is for an act of foul play where Maya punched referee, Peni Talemaivavalagi during an Under-19 match between Naitasiri and Tailevu, played on August 29.

This sanction comes after a disciplinary hearing was conducted by an independent Judicial Officer appointed under the Terms of Participation of the 2020 Fiji Rugby Skipper Cup Competition.

A hearing was conducted in line with World Rugby’s Regulation 17 where the player was represented by his legal representative and his Union Team Manager.

After hearing the parties on the nature of the Foul Play and Maya’s mitigation, the sanction was determined by the Learned Judicial Officer.

The tournament director and Fiji Rugby’s Operations manager, Sale Sorovaki said that all players owed a duty of care to ensure the safety of other players, match officials and any other administrative personnel and Maya’s act of Foul Play needed to be sanctioned appropriately.

FRU chief executive, John O’Connor says, that Fiji Rugby does not condone any form of violence against or abuse of match officials.

He clarified that during the hearing Fiji Rugby and the Fiji Rugby Referees Association had made submissions for a life ban on the player since it was a cowardly act which resulted in the match official sustaining injuries and a broken nose.

While we respect the process and the decision made by the judicial officer, the process also allows for both parties to appeal the decision which we are seriously considering.

Going forward, O’Connor said that any player in the field who verbally abused the Match Official would be given a warning and should the player repeat the offense, he would be yellow carded.

Rugby League move

On reports that the player will turn to Rugby league, the Fiji Rugby CEO, highlighted that they have a good working relation with the Fiji National Rugby League and would also communicate the disciplinary decision to them and also to the Fiji.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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