Sale Sharks rugby director Steve Diamond handed six-week stadium ban

Steve Diamond suffers another disciplinary setback
Steve Diamond suffers another disciplinary setback

Sale Sharks rugby director Steve Diamond has been handed a six-week stadium ban following his recent comment on referee Craig Maxwell-Keys.

The 48-year-old slammed Maxwell-Keys' decision at the end of the Aviva Premiership game against Exeter Chiefs on 27th October which his side went on to lose 10-6.

"He made it up.When you get somebody who's weak-minded, those decisions tend to go to what is perceived to be the better team," said Diamond after the game.

"There were 40 or 50 rucks that should have been penalised if that's a penalty.

"We found out in Europe the refereeing is abysmal, and we found out tonight [against Exeter] that if referees want to come up here and make it up, then they can do."

Diamond faced a three-man disciplinary panel headed by Ian Unsworth in Chester during which he accepted the charges laid against him.

Half of the ban is suspended, but he will also serve the rest of a suspended touchline ban for previous offences.

Diamond will be banned from the touchline for Sale's next match against Leicester and cannot enter the stadium for any of their following three games.

Chairman of the panel Unsworth QC said: "“The panel were disappointed that Mr Diamond was before them once again charged with acting in a way which undermines the values of the game.

"The comments made in the post-match interview clearly and obviously undermined the referee and were an attack upon his character, competence and integrity. Those comments struck at the heart of the game’s core values. The game is built upon respect. There must be respect for officials.

“The panel made it clear that the continuing behaviour of Mr Diamond is unacceptable and, if it continues, may lead a future panel to consider deducting points from Sale Sharks.”