Rugby | Boland fined for fielding ineligible player

Cape Town – The Boland Rugby Union was on
Thursday fined R42 000, suspended for a year, having been found guilty of
fielding an ineligible player during the Currie Cup Qualifying competition.

sanction was applied by a SA Rugby disciplinary committee following the laying
of a complaint by the Valke Rugby Union.

A second charge brought by the
Eastern Province Rugby Football Union of also fielding ineligible players
during the Currie Cup Qualifiers was dismissed. Both charges were heard by Adv.
Rob Stelzner SC.

In the case brought by the
Valke, Adv Stelzner found that Boland were in breach of Regulations 4.2 – 4.4 of the Player Status, Player
Contracts and Player Movement regulations, for fielding Christopher
Bosch in six matches between April 8 and May 13, 2016, without the necessary
clearance certificate.

Bosch was registered to play
for Brakpan and although the Valke offered him a renewal of his contract in
2015, the player had refused this, opting to join Boland instead. The Valke
only became aware of this when Boland applied, belatedly for his clearance, on May 18, 2016, and felt compelled to bring the transgression to the attention of
SA Rugby even though the clearance was granted on the same day.

Boland apologised to the Valke
and explained that it was an oversight at the commencement of the season.
Boland conceded that Bosch had been contracted to the Valke and was registered
with Brakpan in 2015, but that he had never played any matches for that club.

Adv Stelzner found that the
player’s previous registration with the club was not in issue but that playing
for Boland without obtaining a clearance certificate from his previous
province, the Valke, was in contravention of the Transfer Regulations. Previous
similar cases were taken into consideration and a suspended fine of R7 000 per
match was imposed, totalling R42 000.

“Forfeiture of points is in my view was not
appropriate in the present matter, as the omission was a technical one – the
moment the certificate was applied for it was granted,” said Adv Stelzner.

“Furthermore, the Valke did not have any objection to the player
transferring to Boland and playing for Boland and would have agreed to that at
the outset had such approval been sought. Boland’s apology and remorse further
counts in its favour together with the immediate steps it took to remedy the

In the second case against Boland, brought by Eastern Province for the
fielding of two players, Basil Short and Shaun McDonald, Adv Stelzner dismissed
the charges, essentially finding that the contacts with EP had been cancelled.

of the parties to the contract performed in terms thereof from, it appears,
October 2015 when EP experienced financial difficulties and was unable to pay
the players their salaries,” said Adv Stelzner.

“In addition, and in any event, on December 18, 2015 EPRFU informed both players that it wished to reach settlement
with them about terminating the contracts.

“To the extent that this was not acceptance of
the players’ earlier cancellation or a termination itself, but only a
repudiation of the contract, such repudiation was accepted by the players through
their conduct in signing up for Boland (which had occurred mid-December) and
playing for Boland thereafter.”

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