On October 1st in Aude, an amateur match, between two teams from Regional 1, had degenerated into a general brawl. At the end of the match won by the Entente Fleury-Salles-Coursan against the Foyer Laïque du Haut-Vernet, a violent fight broke out between local fans and the visiting team.
The French Rugby Federation's appeal committee, seized of the decisions rendered at first instance, has decided to heavily sanction the two clubs pending the legal consequences of this case where complaints had been filed.
"After deliberating, the FFR Appeal Committee has decided to exclude the two associations from the regional competitions (Regional 1 and Regional Reserve 1) for the 2023-2024 season, and to impose a fine of 1,000 euros on them. The FFR's appeal committee held that the two associations were guilty of "Disturbances caused in the sports arena" and in particular of "Introduction and/or use of any pyrotechnic devices or articles, any means of sound amplification, fight(s), throwing of object(s) on or off the field", and more generally of "Harm to the best interests of rugby", she writes.
As a reminder, four players of the Foyer Laïque had been hospitalized for broken noses and teeth, stitches, concussions and loss of consciousness "as specified by the president of the club, Benoît Castanedo, to France Bleu.
But worse, the motive for this attack would be racist, according to two Perpignan players interviewed by Loopsider, who had also published the video of the brawl. "I curled up in a ball and I heard, 'Dirty Arab, you deserve nothing but this and I get an iron bar.' I haven't slept for three, four days. I have nightmares. Frankly, I saw death," Mohamed revealed.
"Dirty grump", "dirty Arab", when a rugby match between two amateur clubs turns into racist attacks.
Following this impressive brawl, @SOS_Racisme announced that he would take legal action. pic.twitter.com/FQaqxpbhHx
— Loopsider (@Loopsidernews) October 6, 2023
The Catalan club, which filed a complaint, quickly received the support of SOS Racisme. Its president Dominique Soto, who had denounced a "ratonnade" on his X account (formerly Twitter), also filed a complaint with the prosecutor of Narbonne.
"I don't want to get into the idea that it was rugby people who did this. I think there is a form of hooliganism, a background of alcohol too, which was visible on Sunday," said the coach of the Foyer Laïque, Vincent Lagassé, who was also attacked.
The Fleury-Salles-Coursan Entente had also taken the matter to court. The club also claimed to have "injured players and supporters".