French Federation suspends referee Laurent Abrial following Wheelchair World Cup controversy

THE French Federation Rugby League has suspended controversial referee Laurent Abrial following his actions from the Wheelchair World Cup Final.

At one point during the game, Abrial could be seen throwing his arms in the air in anger at his fellow officials before allegedly gesticulating towards the crowd.

Abrial had also been the official that had disallowed Jack Brown’s first-half effort and the man that could quite clearly be seen saying ‘no’ when lead referee Ollie Cruickshank awarded England’s last try through Tom Halliwell.

The International Rugby League Secretary General Danny Kazandjian stated yesterday: “The referee’s performance is currently being reviewed but, based on publicly available evidence, IRL believes that an investigation into potential misconduct is warranted.

“If our investigation supports that initial view we will seek disciplinary actions through the independent IRL judiciary. Until the full process is concluded Laurent Abrial will not be considered for any appointments to international matches.”

Now, the French Federation has, in turn, released this statement: “During the final of the XIII Wheelchair World Championship played on November 18, 2022 at “Manchester Central”, the inappropriate attitude of referee Laurent Abrial was noted by many spectators, television viewers, elected officials and representatives of international delegations.

“After the opinion of the President of the National Arbitration Commission, the President of the FFRXIII has decided to suspend as a precaution Mr. Laurent Abrial from all his duties as arbitrator pending consultations and decisions that may be taken by the authorities.”