Hefty ban handed to Josaia Raisuqe for Lion King lift celebration

Hefty ban handed to Josaia Raisuqe for Lion King lift celebration

Fijian winger Josaia Raisuqe, who lifted the referee to celebrate the final whistle in a French second division game, has been banned for five weeks, the National Rugby League (LNR) announced on Wednesday.

14-men Nevers held out for a 30-25 victory over Beziers on January 8 and in celebration Raisuqe lifted the referee Laurent Milotte with the referee brandished the red card.


“At the end of the match, the first person I saw was the referee and I lifted him up,” Raisuqe told Midi Olympique newspaper.

“It was awkward, but I didn’t want to hurt him! I was just happy.” 

“My phone kept ringing. It was unbearable,” said the 26-year-old former Stade Francais player, who said he was “afraid of losing my job”.


Nevers coach Xavier Pemeja was initially furious saying Raisuqe “will be punished” but calmed down.

“I spoke to him after the match. He’s a kid in his head,” the coach said the next day “He has to realise the stupidity he’s done. I understand that it can make you laugh, but it doesn’t make me laugh.” The LNR disciplinary committee did not see the funny side and punished the player for “action against a game official” and for “disrespecting the authority of an official”.

LNR confirmed Josaia Raisuqe's five-week suspension on Wednesday.

The ban comes for "disrespecting the authority of a match official" and his actions were deemed to be on the "upper level of the severity scale".

 
 
 
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