An Argentinian rugby player has been banned for three years after tackling a female referee during an Italian league match.
According to Sky Sports, Bruno Andres Doglioli—who captains Serie A outfit Rangers Rugby Vicenza—attacked referee Maria Beatrice Benvenuti, giving her whiplash from the incident.
Journalist Opy Morales shared footage of the shocking moment:
Doglioli was given a yellow card during the game, and Benvenuti continued to referee the contest against Valsugana Padua until it concluded.
The Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) released a statement regarding its decision to ban the player, per Sky Sports:
The Italian Rugby Federation would like to reiterate that this sanction - the heaviest in the last 20 years - underlines that when it comes to infringing the rules of the game and, above all, the fundamental values of our sport, we will show zero tolerance.
It also underlines the FIR's firm stance against those who abuse, verbally or physically, match officials.
The 33-year-old had already been suspended by his club after the incident, but the FIR opted to take the most severe action possible to punish the skipper.
Doglioli will be unable to take part in any form of competitive rugby while he serves his suspension from the sport.