The misconduct hearing into the alleged breaches by Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu (Samoa) of the RWC/IRB Code of Conduct in relation to comments made about referee Nigel Owens via the public social media network Twitter has been adjourned until 09:00 Saturday, October 15.
A request by the Player and his Legal representatives for a second adjournment was granted by Independent Judicial Officer His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett (England). The adjournment was accepted on the grounds that the Player requested more time to consider the charges against him and to accommodate a commitment to attend a Samoa Government function welcoming back the Manu Samoa team over the weekend.
Mr Fuimaono Sapolu remains provisionally suspended from all participation in the game of Rugby Union until the rescheduled hearing on October 15.
Yesterday (at the original scheduled hearing), the Samoa Rugby Union, who were responsible for the player during the RWC tournament, accepted the single charge of misconduct against them for failure to control Mr Fuimaono Sapolu.
In line with the Rugby World Cup 2011 Disciplinary process, misconduct hearings are presided over by an Independent Judicial Officer, who is not an employee or member of the IRB or connected to the Player’s Union.
It is inappropriate for RWCL/IRB to make further comment on this case pending resolution of the proceedings. Mr Fuimaono Sapolu was requested to refrain from further comment on the case in order to preserve the integrity of the proceedings.
It is the responsibility of the Union to inform its players of any disciplinary actions against them.
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