The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) disciplinary committee has only lightly tapped Johnny Sexton on the fingers after his outburst in the Champions Cup final between Leinster and La Rochelle.
The Ireland captain has been suspended for three matches, meaning he will miss his side’s World Cup warm-up matches against Italy, England and Samoa.
He will be available for the opening match of the international knockout tournament against Romania on 9 September.
Although a groin injury cut Sexton’s Leinster career short after 189 appearances for the club, he nevertheless attended the final; a showdown that Leinster lost in dramatic fashion with 27 – 26.
Shortly after the final whistle blew, he swung his finger in the direction of referee Jaco Peyper, already sweating.
The 37-year-old flyhalf was also involved in an altercation with La Rochelle’s Ronan O’Gara (head coach) and Will Skelton (lock) during half-time.
“Johnny Sexton has admitted that he is guilty of misconduct,” the EPCR said in a statement.
The disciplinary committee found that his behavior was aggressive and that his actions were without any respect towards the match officials.
“Among other things, he waved his finger in the direction of the officers and said that it was a ‘shame’ that they could not get the important decisions right.”
According to the committee, Sexton also swore: “He most likely used the f-word”.
Although his actions are labeled as unsporting and it is argued at the same time that he brought rugby into disrepute, the committee believes that their decision is the correct one.
“After considering the circumstances and Sexton’s written reasons for his conduct, the committee concluded that the appropriate sanction is an immediate suspension of three matches.”