Planet Rugby

Laporte ban lifted

17th May 2014 15:08

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Cleared: Bernard Laporte

Toulon manager Bernard Laporte will be allowed to give his team talk to his players at next weekend's European Cup final after he had his 16 week suspension lifted by the Ligue nationale de Rugby (LNR) his club announced.

The 49-year-old former France national coach - whose side have reached the European Cup final and on Friday the Top 14 final during the suspension - had been slapped with the ban imposed on February 12 after a bitter verbal attack on a referee on January 4.

The ban covered access to official areas in stadiums, the touchline, as well as referee's and players' dressing rooms.

Toulon had appealed to the ComitÚ National Olympique et Sportif Franšais (CNOSF), which is the highest authority in sport in France.

The original ban would have seen him on the sidelines till June 3, after both the European Cup and French championship finals.

"I'm very happy," said Laporte.

"I thank them for this gesture and I'll see if I all my rights as a coachi at upcoming matches by going to the locker room or if we continue using (assistants coaches) Pierre Mignoni and Jacques Delmas as we have since I was banned.

Club president Mourad Boudjellal was grateful for the decision.

"It is a gesture on the part of the League which we will keep in mind in our future attitudes,'' said Boudjellal.

"The punishment affected Bernard, even if the sanction was probably deserved, it was, I think, disproportionate. What we have learned today rebalances it a bit. "

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