January 17, 2018 / 3:31 PM / 9 months ago

REFILE-Rugby-France's Bastareaud gets three-week ban for homophobic comments

(Adds dropped word Toulon’s in first para)

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - France centre Mathieu Bastareaud has been suspended for three weeks for making homophobic comments during Toulon’s Champions Cup win over Benetton Treviso on Sunday, and will miss the start of next month’s Six Nations.

Bastareaud was cited for “verbally abusing the Benetton Rugby flanker, Sebastian Negri Da Oleggio, in the 80th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.12,” European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The ban for Bastareaud, who apologised on social media for his remarks, followed an independent EPCR Disciplinary Hearing and means he will miss his country’s opening Six Nations game against Ireland on Feb. 3. (Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Ossian Shine)

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