THE National Conference League has imposed a ‘sine die’ suspension on Milford’s Josh Nathaniel.
Conference bosses have named Nathaniel as the player who allegedly assaulted referee Joe Stearne during the League D fixture with Oulton Raiders on Thursday 26 August.
The game was abandoned shortly before half-time and with the Raiders 8-0 ahead, and the police were called.
NCL Administrator Alan Smith said: “The player does have the right of appeal now, and can ask for a review of the ban after five years, which is the maximum length that can be imposed under the Community Game Operational Rules.”
NCL Chair Trevor Hunt added: “The National Conference League has always recognised the importance of supporting all match officials in undertaking their key role within the sport.
“This means we hold a strong line against any abuse of match officials, whether verbal or in rare cases such as this, physical.
“We will never accept or tolerate such actions and we know these feelings are shared by all at the Milford club, who have been outstanding members of the NCL over many years.
“We also know and accept that the player involved is deeply upset following the incident and we are determined to work with Milford to support him through these difficult times.”
He concluded: “We are grateful to the RFL for the support that they, through their experienced officers and RL Cares, will now provide, not only to the referee but to Josh, as we seek to eradicate such instances from our competition.”
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.