Rugby World Cup standout player receives a suspension spanning six matches following a tackle that resulted in a fractured cheekbone for the opposing player…

A Rugby World Cup star has received a significant suspension of six matches, potentially reduced to five, following a controversial tackle that left his opponent, France’s Antoine Dupont, with a fractured cheekbone.

Johan Deysel, the captain of Namibia’s rugby team, faced this punishment after a head-to-head collision with Dupont resulted in the latter requiring surgery and a hospital stay. This ruling effectively ends Deysel’s participation in the Rugby World Cup.

Namibia, having suffered defeats to Italy, New Zealand, and France, now only has a match against Uruguay remaining, but they will have to navigate it without their influential captain due to World Rugby’s confirmation of his six-match suspension.

Following his expulsion for the collision with Dupont, Deysel faced backlash on social media, prompting him to lock his accounts and issue an apology to the French captain. In his statement, Deysel expressed his best wishes for Antoine Dupont and clarified that he had no malicious intent.

He explained, “Everything happened very quickly, and I couldn’t move my head out of the way in time, resulting in the head collision. I acknowledge my responsibility, knowing the rules. Immediately after the match, I spoke with Fabien Galthie, the France head coach, and conveyed my apologies and best wishes to Antoine, both personally and through the France team doctor.”

Deysel is expected to have his ban reduced from six to five matches, as he has shown his willingness to participate in the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme, designed to help players recognize their mistakes and improve their tackling techniques.

A statement from World Rugby indicated, “Namibia’s Johan Deysel appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee hearing for a violation of Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle) as a result of a review by the Foul Play Review Official in Namibia’s Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool A match against France on 21 September.”

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