Tuesday, 19 January 2010

70 Weeks

22 April 2011.

This is a key date in the life of Stade Francais' prop David Attoub as this is when he will be allowed to play rugby again.  It has been revealed that he is now banned for 70 weeks after being found guilty of making contact with the eye area of Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris during a Heineken Cup game.

70 weeks.  That's quite a long time.  In fact, it's the second longest ban to be handed out for eye-gouging behind Colomiers prop Richard Nones who was slapped with a two-year suspension way back in 1999.

Attoub gouges Ferris' eye

But is it enough?  I still don't think so, especially when you read the words of Attoub's victim, Stephen Ferris:

"The contact was very strong and extremely painful - the finger in my right eye was forced downward in a poking and gouging motion; it was someone trying to drive a finger as hard as he could into my eye socket and I could not prevent it".

When it's put it like this, a 70 week ban for a man who was trying his best to poke out someone's eye and blind him seems very leniant.

The thing that really annoys me about this whole eye-gouging saga is that Attoub hasn't accepted responsibility for his actions or apologised for them, and instead Stade cast doubt of the authenticity of the photo of Attoub gouging the eyes of Ferris.

Of course Attoub is going to appeal, but as there is nothing appealing about this case whatsoever, I for one hope that he fails and the 70 week ban stands.


  1. Agreed. This is not the safest sport as it is. Was it really necessary to intentionally injure someone like that? I definitely don't think so.

  2. Bamberio, this was very good news, indeed. The start of a trend, perhaps in finally getting serious about eye-gouging? We can only hope so...

  3. I am surprised that no criminal complaint has been made. Should be good for an assault charg at least I would think.

  4. Wow that is actually quite shocking. I hope it stands.
    Kate x

  5. At a risk of repeating myself as heartening as it is to hear of the 70 week ban I honestly think that anything less than a life ban is way too short - deliberately trying to blind another person anywhere else would carry a custodial sentence - it should be deemed no less serious on a rugby pitch