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Keighley Cougars won't discipline Paul March as fan takes blame over ban
Cougars chairman Gary Fawcett says Paul March will not face any internal disciplinary action in light of his two-month stadium ban, with a supporter claiming the incident involved a case of mistaken identity.
An RFL operational rule tribunal last week imposed the suspension on the player-coach for verbally abusing match officials after the defeat to Leigh on March 9.
But March pleaded not guilty and Simon Harrison, a sponsor of Cougars and life-long supporter, says it was he who abused the officials at the game.
Fawcett said: “I just think this is an astonishing ban and is without precedent – it was an absolute shock – but the club is going to stand by Marchy.
“We’ve done our own internal review and I can’t come to any other conclusion that one of our main sponsors and life-long supporters in Simon Harrison has said ‘I did it’.
“He rang Neil Cullen, our chief executive, to tell him he thought he had got Marchy into trouble. Simon has made his statement and has clearly stated that it was him.
“I can’t discipline Paul because the club has got enough evidence to believe that he didn’t say it.”
Harrison said in a statement: “I attended the disciplinary panel last Thursday and told the panel what happened just after the Leigh match.
“There was a lot of booing and shouting at the match officials and I decided to make my feelings known to them so I went down to the tunnel. Just as I shouted what I felt Marchy pushed past me.
“The match officials turned to look and saw him. They clearly assumed it was Marchy who questioned the referee but it wasn’t. It was me.
“Immediately afterwards I went to Neil Cullen, the CEO, and apologised stating that I feared I had got Marchy into trouble.
“Marchy shouldn’t have been found guilty of the allegation in my view.”
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