Outspoken Toulon owner and club president Mourad Boudjellal said on Saturday he would appeal the 130-day ban handed down to him after using lurid language to describe the level of refereeing in a recent Top 14 game.
Boudjellal made the remarks on January 8 following Toulon’s defeat at Clermont, claiming his side had been “sodomised by the referees”.
France’s National Rugby League (LNR) took exception to his remarks and on Thursday announced it had handed Boudjellal a ban that will see him unable to work as the club’s president until June 3.
Boudjellal, who made his fortune in comic books, said following his side’s 50-10 mauling of Bayonne in Saturday’s Top 14 clash that he would appeal.
“I will be appealing,” said Boudjellal, who watched the match from the roof of the players tunnel.
The decision taken by the LNR means that Boudjellal is “forbidden entry to official match (including before and after the matches) venues, to the changing rooms (teams and referees) as well as the corridors leading to these zones.
Last week the French Rugby Referees Union (UNAR) threatened to sue Boudjellal, who regularly targets what he perceives as the conservatism of French rugby, for defamation after the remarks.
Boudjellal replied to the threat, saying: “I am not surprised that they are attacking me. With what they are paid, they need the money.”