Aurélien CANOT, Media365, published on Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 12:53 p.m.
Expelled last Saturday against South Africa for having unbalanced Cheslin Kolbe in the air, Antoine Dupont received a four-week suspension. The scrum half of Blues and Toulouse was already certain to miss the match against Japan. He will also be deprived with his club of the next two Top 14 meetings and the clash against Munster at the start of the Champions Cup season.
Antoine Dupont is doing well. Expelled last Saturday on the lawn of the Vélodrome de Marseille against South Africa for a big foul in the air on the South African Cheslin Kolbe – match won 30 to 26 by the Blues – the scrum half of the XV of France risked up to to an eight-week suspension. This is also the sanction imposed on him by the independent commission (a commission chaired by the Australians Stephen Hardy and John Langford and by the Scotsman Frank Hadden) after hearing the person concerned in video Wednesday morning, before bringing back the suspension of Toulouse number 9 for four weeks. A gesture that Dupont owes to two things: first his apologies before the commission and after the meeting for this dangerous gesture on the Toulonnais but also his “prize” from a disciplinary point of view since the start of his career. It should indeed be known that the red card received on Saturday by the one who had been voted best player in the world last year and who could be again this year (we must again part of the nominees) was his very first.
Dupont’s gesture considered “reckless” but “not intentional”
The committee, which considered that “the player’s act was reckless and not intentional or deliberate”, obviously took this into account, knowing that the higher degree of the sanction in such a case can reach twelve weeks of suspension or more (52 weeks at most). “The player has admitted to committing an act of foul play deserving of a red card,” the statement from the Autumn Nations Series explains. Instead of eight weeks, Dupont will therefore only be suspended for four weeks. “Having considered mitigating circumstances, including evidence of the player’s remorse and contrition, his exemplary previous disciplinary record and his conduct during the hearing, the Disciplinary Committee reduced the starting point of eight weeks/matches from four weeks/games”. Nevertheless, Dupont, automatically suspended for the last test, Sunday against Japan, will miss the next two meetings of Toulouse in the Top 14 (in Lyon on November 27 and against Perpignan on December 3) as well as the coup start of the Champions Cup season, against Munster on December 11.