Ghana Rugby has issued a reminder of the World Rugby “Code of Conduct” to the Ghana Rugby Family following the stiff sanctioning of a club coach for misconduct because he neglected to accept and observe the authority and decisions of a referee during a Ghana Rugby Women’s Club Championship match in Accra. According to the statement issued by Ghana Rugby, the coach was not happy with a decision by the match official early in the match, and from that point onwards he challenged most of the Match Official’s calls from his position in the technical area. In issuing the sanction Ghana Rugby’s Judicial Officer, Mr Chester Anie, said that there will be little or no tolerance for misconduct or foul play in 2020. “Rugby is a Game underpinned by the values of respect and discipline and open and public challenges to these values as inscribed in the Rules and Regulations of World Rugby, and therefore Ghana Rugby, will not be tolerated,” Anie said. The President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, Mr Herbert Mensah, endorsed the sanctions and said, “Such behaviour not only breaks down the integrity of the Game of Rugby, but it also impacts on the safety and welfare of our players. The recent initiation of our EagleWise programme is another step towards making the Game enjoyable but also safe to all those participating in the Game.” The Laws of the Game of Rugby Union states that “The referee is the sole judge of fact and of law during a match.” in Law 6, Clause 5. “Even if we do not agree with a decision by a referee, the referee is still the ‘sole judge’ and this position is ensconced in the Laws and Regulations of Rugby with some sanctions that even allow for a life ban,” Mensah said. The coach was sanctioned with a ban, suspended for 52 weeks, on taking part in any rugby activities, a six weeks ban on entering the technical area during a match and a financial penalty. In a message to the Rugby Family in Ghana the Union issued an important reminder to the Ghana Rugby Family including all rugby bodies, administrators, coaches, match officials, other officials, players and other persons with the request, “Let’s go into 2020 always reminding ourselves of our pledge and obligation towards the Game of Rugby Union as embodied in the World Rugby “Code of Conduct” as outlined in Appendix I of Regulation 20: MISCONDUCT AND CODE OF CONDUCT.” The World Rugby Code of Conduct stipulates the following: 1. All Unions, Associations, Rugby Bodies, Clubs and Persons: 1.1 must ensure that the game is played and conducted in accordance with disciplined and sporting behaviour and acknowledge that it is not sufficient to rely solely upon the Match Officials to maintain those principles; 1.2 shall co-operate in ensuring that the spirit of the Laws of the Game are upheld and refrain from selecting players guilty of foul play; 1.3 shall not repeatedly breach the Laws of the Game; 1.4 shall accept and observe the authority and decisions of referees, touch judges, Match Officials and all other rugby disciplinary bodies, subject to Regulation 17; 1.5 shall not publish or cause to be published criticism of the manner in which a referee or touch judge handled a Match; 1.6 shall not publish or cause to be published criticism of the manner in which Council or any other rugby disciplinary body handled or resolved any dispute or disciplinary matter resulting from a breach of the Bye-Laws, 1.7 shall not engage in any conduct or any activity on or off the field that may impair public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of a Match, tour, tournament or Series of Matches (including, but not limited to, the supply of information in relation to the Game, directly or indirectly, to bookmakers or to persons who may use such information to their advantage) or in the integrity and good character of any person; 1.8 shall not commit a breach of Regulation 6 (Wagering); 1.9 shall promote the reputation of the game and take all possible steps to prevent it from being brought into disrepute; 1.10 shall not commit an anti-doping rule violation as defined in Regulation 21; 1.11 shall not abuse, threaten or intimidate a referee, touch judge or other Match Official, whether on or off the field of play; 1.12 shall not use crude or abusive language or gestures towards referees, touch judges or other Match Officials or spectators; 1.13 shall not do anything which is likely to intimidate, offend, insult, humiliate or discriminate against any other Person on the ground of their religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, colour or national or ethnic origin; 1.14 shall not do anything which adversely affects the Game of Rugby Football, World Rugby, any member Union or Association or any commercial partner of the Game.