Defending European Champions Saracen’s have continued to have a season to forget as they yet again received another fine, this time for fielding an ineligible player.
After already being relegated from the Premiership for salary cap breaches last years winners faced a possible points deduction when they admitted to allowing USA international Titi Lamositele to play in their Champions Cup win over Racing 92 despite his work permit expiring the day before.
However, an independent disciplinary committee chose to impose a fine of 50,000 euros (£42,000) half of which is suspended until the end of the 2020/21 season.
The game was played just 24 hours after the club had learned of their relegation at the end of the season, meaning that they will not be allowed to take part in any European competition.
Any points deduction could have seen the Saracen’s side move out of one of the eight quarter final spots and their game against Leinster which will be played in Ireland on April 4th.
The committee had heard that the prop forward Lamositele who was part of the USA squad during the World Cup in Japan last autumn had been eligible to play when the Match day squad was announced on Friday 17th January.
However, his work permit had expired the following day, but the committee didn’t see Saracen’s as gaining any unfair advantage by selecting the player who came off the bench for the final 20 minutes of the game.
“The committee believes that this was an unfortunate sequence of events brought about by an administrative oversight,” committee chairman Roger Morris said.
“However, Saracens are in breach of the disciplinary rules of the Champions Cup, and that breach constitutes misconduct which can be proportionately dealt with by way of a financial penalty.”
After being denied a home quarter final by the defeat the French side Racing 92 said they were;
“astonished at not being contacted after being involved in a new breach by Saracens”.
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