Bizarre ban left player ‘crying all night’ as he can’t even watch his kids play

Bans happen frequently in rugby league with the game being as physical as they come however some bans don’t always seem to fit the crime and vice versa with fans often left bemused by disciplinary decisions.

A recent example was of Angus Crichton’s use of the elbow in the World Cup final, something he received a one-game ban for but a ban that can be served during pre-season meaning he won’t miss any significant playing time.

One man who is still serving a ban and is set to miss playing, watching and coaching time is Matt Nean who was banned for 20 years following an altercation with a referee in 2016 meaning he isn’t eligible to partake in anything rugby related until 2036.

Nean has been trying to appeal his ban which he received following a Group 4 grand final when he made contact with the referee.

The incident in question can be seen in the above tweet and it could be said that Nean has every right to call the ban a “joke” given it seems a rather insignifcant incident however having received a ban the year prior Nean was viewed as a ‘repeat offender’, upon his appeal, which is what contributed to the huge charge.

Initially given a huge 18-week suspension, Nean appealed as mentioned above, but was found guilty of the offence and therefore handed the monster 20-year ban, which has now prevented him from attending to watch his children play.

At the time of the appeal in 2016, Country Rugby League boss Terry Quinn and the court, ruled against Nean, after he’d pleaded not guilty.

Quinn said: “There is an absolute zero tolerance through the game at all levels for this sort of offence, whether it be physical contact or verbal abuse of our match officials.

“In the case of Matt Nean, you are talking about a repeat offender who had only just returned from serving a long suspension for a similar offence.

“It is indefensible conduct that deserves the harshest of penalties.”

Now Nean has spoken to the Wide World of Sports underling how devastated he has been by the ban which means he can’t even watch his kids play.

“I can’t even go and watch my kids play… it has shattered me,” Nean, who works for the Tamworth Aboriginal Lands Council, told Wide World of Sports.

“When they said 20 years I thought it was a joke… I soon realised it wasn’t.

“I cried that whole night.

“Even at the judiciary, the referee wanted to change the charge against me from ‘shoulder charge’ to ‘incidental contact’ but was told he couldn’t.

“They wouldn’t let me use the video, which showed I just accidentally brushed past him (the referee).

“The deadline for an appeal is getting close and we have tried every avenue to get the ban overturned or reduced.

“The Supreme Court seems my last chance. I don’t want to take that sort of action but it seems I have no other choice.”

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