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Watch: Premier Division waterpolo clubs contest Obradovic suspension

San Ġiljan player handed one-match ban after throwing cap to referee

Footage showing San Ġiljan's Paulo Obradovic throwing his cap towards the match referee.

Premier League Clubs Exiles Elia Caterers, Neptunes Leo Vegas, Sirens Greentube and Sliema Frank Salt Real Estate would like to make reference to the Disciplinary Commissioner’s decision number DR 84-2018, published on August 21.

This decision concerned a contested report issued by match referees after match held between San Giljan TUM Invest and Neptunes Leo Vegas on August 17 where officials noted that: “Paolo Obdradovic (San Giljan No 10) excluded with substitution for protesting. On the way out the player threw his cap towards the referee Fabio Brasiliano”.

The referee in question stated: “tolto la calottina dalla testa, la scagliava verso di me colpendomi alla gamba”

The relative rules state that using any object that is not potentially dangerous (including throwing waterpolo caps) carries a two-match ban. An unsuccessful attempt to do so carries a one-match ban.

All those present at the match can comfortably confirm that the player, a Croatian international star player, knew perfectly well where he was throwing a cap with his playing hand and was successful in doing so.

Indeed, the decision in question confirms that the Disciplinary Commissioner and those present for the hearing viewed relative footage.

Despite this, the Disciplinary Commissioner inexplicably concluded that “it is not proven that it was the intention of the player to hit the referee”. He was banned one match.

Exiles Elia Caterers, Neptunes Leo Vegas, Sirens Greentube and Sliema Frank Salt Real respect the decision of the Disciplinary Commissioner, despite strongly disagreeing with it, but would like to note that it marks a sad and unprecedented chapter in local waterpolo.

While not going into the merits of what sanction the offence merited, which is left in the hands of the readers who can easily access the relative regulations online on the Aquatic Sports Association website, the said clubs cannot but note their severe disappointment that the same association didn’t exercise its right to defend the honour of the official it appointed and the general principles of sportsmanship when it failed to appeal a decision which awarded the minimum penalty to such a serious incident.

 

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