Colombia number eight, Maribel Mestra Diaz, appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card in Colombia’s international match against Kazakhstan in the Rugby World Cup 2021 Final Qualification Tournament on 19 February, 2022. The red card was awarded for an offence pursuant to Law 9.13 (dangerous tackle).
The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), joined by former international player Jamie Corsi (Wales) and former referee Juan Pablo Spirandelli (Argentina).
The player accepted that she had committed the act of foul play and accepted that the offence was worthy of a red card. On that basis, the committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.
Having acknowledged mitigating factors including the presence and timing of an acknowledgement of wrong-doing, the player’s disciplinary record and good character, the player’s remorse for her conduct and the player’s conduct prior to and at the hearing, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent, resulting in a sanction of three weeks, meaning the player will miss the following matches:
- 25 February, 2022 – Scotland v Colombia – RWC 2021 Final Qualification Tournament
- 6 March, 2022 – Duendes Club match – Round 1 of Liga Antioquena de Rugby
- 20 March, 2022 – Duendes Club match – Round 2 of Liga Antioquena de Rugby
The player may apply to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme to substitute the final match of her sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play. Further information can be found here.
Click here to watch the video that explains how rugby’s disciplinary process works.
Visit World Rugby’s dedicated disciplinary process education and information page here.