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Match:  Eagles RC - Kalev RC

Competition: Division 1, Men

Date: 29.7.2017

Player/club: Mihkel Pärn, Kalev Rugby Club (“The Player”)

Reason for hearing

The Player was issued a red card by the Referee contrary to law Law 10.4 (k) Dangerous play in a scrum, ruck or maul.

Panel composition

Palemia Field, Chris Gibbons, George Mossford

Evidence submitted

Statements from the Referee (Jaakko Kanniainen) & Kalev Rugby Club (Kristjan Kotkas, for Kalev RC).  No evidence was received from Eagles Rugby Club nor was any video footage provided.

Referee's report: "In the beginning of the second half, in the 10 meter line of the Eagles side, within 6 meters  of the side line, side of the crowd. Before the incident, in the first half at minute 19, at the time of the yellow card given to one of the opposition player, I warned this player (Kalev number 4) for retaliation. In the second half the same player came through a ruck legally. He (Kalev number 4) was holding the collar of the opposition number 17 when he got up from the floor. He pushed himself up by pushing the opposition player down hand on the neck. After getting up he shoved an opposite side player once more to free his path back onside. I was 2 meters away from the accident, and stopped the time at once. I explained what I had seen on the spot, and gave the red card for dangerous play.."

Kalev statement "According to the player the situation was not as interpreted by the referee – the player recalls two situations might have entailed above-shoulder contact with an opposition player - he might have leaned on the opposition player when getting off the ground in a ruck and he pushed away/removed a player that entered the ruck from what the player evaluates was from the side. Either way it was brief, and there was no intention to strangle a player in the ruck and the situation did not amount to being characterised as such. This was in our understanding corroborated by others in the vicinity, including people affiliated with the opposition team. Hence we are in the position that the situation did not warrant a red card.  

The player has stated that he did not react to the incident (i.e. show remorse or acknowledgement) on the field as he was genuinely not sure what had triggered the card. His position is that he is still unsure if the event was worthy of a card, but if it did constitute unfair play against the opposition player he absolutely regrets it. He notes that he was involved in a verbal altercation with the opposing team members in the beginning of the game, but that was due to what was perceived as opposition players laughing off an incident where our no 9 player was illegally tackled and was lying on the ground. The club evaluates the player to be generally a mild tempered player and not usually penalised in games.

We understand the game was recorded by Turku Eagles or persons affiliated with them, however we have not seen the recording.

Kalev RFC respectfully asks the above to be taken into account when evaluating the red card and potentially downgrade the card to a yellow card. We assume that upon submission to a disciplinary panel any video of the situation would be shared with us - kindly let us know if this is not the case.


The disciplinary panel discussed the statement and immediately reassigned the red card to be reported under Law 10.4(l):

Retaliation. A player must not retaliate. Even if an opponent is infringing the Laws, a player must not do anything that is dangerous to the opponent..

Both statements concur that the player had been warned in the first half by the referee and that The Player did indeed retaliate against the opponents who he thought to be infringing against the laws.

With no evidence to the contrary, the sending off is upheld.


The disciplinary panel considers that The Player is guilty of a low range  offence under 10.4 (l) which would be an entry level ban of one week.

No aggravating factors were considered to be present whilst in mitigation the panel accepts the acknowledgement of culpability and the remorse resulting in a one week reduction.  After considering the evidence submitted, the panel concluded that no further suspension is to be issued, while the red card will remain on his record.  

Therefore, The Player is available for selection immediately.


 Suomen Rugbyliitto ry, PL 974

FI-00180 Helsinki, Finland 97.491