Delon Armitage suspended for 12 weeks after abusing Leicester fans

Toulon star set to miss huge matches in the Top 14 and European Champions Cup after being found guilty of misconduct

Toulon full-back Delon Armitage has been suspended for 12 weeks for abusing Leicester Tigers fans earlier this month.

The 31-year-old was involved in an incident with the home supporters at Welford Road after Toulon’s 25-21 European Champions Cup defeat on 7 December.

Armitage pleaded not guilty to a complaint of allegedly bringing the sport, and those associated with it, into disrepute.

An independent disciplinary committee in London found the former England international guilty of misconduct, despite being provoked by Tigers supporters after the match.

The committee was satisfied that Armitage had directed abusive language at Leicester Tigers supporters after the match, and while it found that his comments were provoked, the committee decided he was guilty of misconduct.

EPCR Statement

In determining its punishment, the committee imposed an entry point of eight weeks, but as it was the player’s second post-match misconduct case in the last four years, they added a further four weeks to the length of the suspension, which begins immediately, subject to appeal by the player or EPCR. Armitage was also ordered to pay costs.

Armitage will be free to play from Monday 9 March 2015, meaning he will miss Toulon’s final two Champions Cup pool matches against Ulster and the Scarlets, as well as huge Top 14 clashes against Stade Français and Racing Metro.

Earlier on Wednesday, Toulon prop Martin Castrogiovanni received a suspended four-match ban after pleading guilty to a misconduct complaint arising from the encounter with his former club.

The Italian international was also ordered to pay €10,000 (£7,900) to a charity in Leicester for his expletive-laden post-match tirade aimed at the Aviva Premiership club and Richard Cockerill, their director of rugby.

His ban is suspended until 30 April 2016, but will be activated if a further off-field misconduct complaint is successfully brought against him.

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