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Rugby Player Banned for Three Years for Vicious, "Deliberate" Hit on Referee

Bruno Andres Doglioli tackled referee Maria Beatrice Welcome from behind, snapping her head back.

What the hell, man? Seriously, WHAT THE HELL?!

Who does this? How did a Serie A rugby match devolve into this?

Why would you possibly level some ref when she is not looking and try to knock her out? Note before you answer that it doesn't matter who the ref is, or what she has done. This wouldn't be acceptable if it was Joey Crawford after he gave you four technical fouls for getting in front of his TV close up. Actually don't feel compelled to answer the question at all. There is no answer for it.


Luckily, the ref, Maria Beatrice Welcome, is relatively unharmed. She suffered only whiplash, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, and despite the nasty hit, she finished refereeing the match. The perpetrator, Bruno Andres Doglioli—captain of Rangers Rugby Vicenza—has been suspended for three years.

Condemning "a deliberate act of violence towards the match referee," the Italian rugby federation (FIR) said in a statement that Doglioli had been banned "from playing any competitive sport for three years".

The 33-year-old had already been suspended by his club in midweek.

"The Italian Rugby Federation would like to reiterate that this sanction—the heaviest in the last 20 years—underlines that when it comes to infringing the rules of the game and, above all, the fundamental values of our sport, we will show zero tolerance," the FIR said.

Due to his age, there's a chance he never plays again. Good.

h/t Deadspin