The French Federation for Rugby League (FFR XIII) have released a statement announcing their suspension of referee Laurent Abrial.
Abrial officiated the Men’s Wheelchair Final on Friday evening and was subject to social media, spectator and pundit confusion as well as a general questioning regarding his professionalism.
It was reported earlier that International Rugby League were going to investigate him with the following statement released;
“International Rugby League has launched an investigation into the behaviour and actions of match official Laurent Abrial during the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup final between England and France at Manchester Central on Friday night.”
Upon this investigation it seems the FFR came to a similar decision as they have suspended Abrial and referenced what they and many others considered as an “inappropriate attitude”.
Their decision to act was announced in a press release where they stated the decision had been made “to suspend as a precautionary measure Mr. Laurent Abrial from all his functions as arbitrator pending consultations and decisions that may be taken by the competent authorities”.
The Men’s Wheelchair Final had been a dramatic affair and was secured late on with England captain Tom Halliwell scoring with two and a half minutes left on the clock.
Abrial had caught the attention of fans and pundits alike with his strange and erratic behaviour on the sideline where he could clearly be seen arguing and gesturing to players and benches alike.