Toulon captain learns his fate after controversial red card
Toulon made it to the Challenge Cup final on Sunday despite playing the vast majority of the match without captain Charles Ollivon, who was sent off in the first ten minutes for a dangerous tackle which saw him make contact with the head of Benetton’s Matteo Minozzi.
Referee Karl Dickson dismissed the flanker, and he was subsequently charged for contravening Law 9.13- A player must not tackle an opponent dangerously.
Fortunately for Ollivon and Toulon, the red card has been dismissed, meaning he is not only free to play in the Challenge Cup final against Glasgow Warriors later this month, but the conclusion to the Top 14 season.
The red card proved to be highly controversial at the time, and plenty of fans might well feel that justice has been served (apart from the card not being issued in the first place). While there was definite head contact, many argued that the tackle was passive and that there was a low degree of danger, although it is quite hard to be passive when you are 115kg and sprinting after a box kick.
Take a look at the red card a decide for yourself:
An EPCR statement reads: “An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), Chair, Martyn Wood (England) and Tony Wheat (Ireland) heard evidence and submissions from Ollivon, who did not accept the red card decision, from the RC Toulon Sporting Director, Laurent Emmanueli, and from the RC Toulon Legal Director, Cédric Rouhaud.
“In addition, submissions were heard from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan, and the RC Toulon Legal Assistant, Sophie Magdziak, was also present during the hearing.
“The committee accepted Ollivon’s contention that the level of danger of his tackle was not high, and it was decided that the red card should be dismissed.
“Ollivon is free to play and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.”