Jerome Fillol cited over spitting offence

Stade Francais' Jerome Fillol, right, was spotted spitting at Bath's Peter Stringer, left. Picture: Getty
Stade Francais' Jerome Fillol, right, was spotted spitting at Bath's Peter Stringer, left. Picture: Getty
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Stade Francais scrum-half Jerome Fillol has been cited for spitting at opposite number Peter Stringer in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final win at Bath.

The incident occurred in the 25th minute of the match at The Rec, which the French club won 36-20 to reach the semi-finals of the tournament for the third straight year.

The two number nines had already exchanged words prior to their clash. Nothing untoward was seen by referee Nigel Owens and his assistants at the time, but replays showed Fillol spitting straight in Stringer’s face. And match citing commissioner Eugene Ryan has decided Fillol has a case to answer.

European Rugby Cup confirmed he has been charged with an “act contrary to good sportsmanship” and will appear before independent judicial officer Anthony Davis in Dublin on Thursday.

An ERC statement read: “ERC has received a citing complaint against the Stade Francais Paris scrum half, Jerome Fillol, following the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final match against Bath Rugby on Saturday, 6 April 2013.

“Fillol is alleged to have committed an act contrary to good sportsmanship in that he spat at the Bath Rugby player, Peter Stringer (No 9), during the first half of the match at the Recreation Ground.”

Under the IRB disciplinary code, the sanction for spitting ranges between four and at least 11 weeks depending on the severity of the offence. The maximum ban is 52 weeks. Stringer said after the game that spitting on an opponent was “as low as you can probably go”, and followed that by tweeting that he was “disgusted”.

Brett Gosper, the chief executive of the International Rugby Board, also tweeted: “Spitting on Stringer should be punished to the full extent of the law. #NotRugby.”

Stade prop Rabah Slimani has also been cited as a result of an incident during the match.

The tighthead was sin-binned just before half-time after tackling Nick Abendanon in the air, and will also appear before a disciplinary hearing in Dublin on Thursday.

Punishments for tackling a player in the air can range from between three and 12 weeks depending on severity, with a maximum suspension of a year.