Six-week stadium ban for Sale boss Diamond

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has been given a six-match stadium ban for comments made about a referee.

Diamond was charged by the Rugby Football Union following criticism of official Craig Maxwell-Keys following Sale's 10-6 defeat to Exeter Chiefs last month.

When asked about Maxwell-Keys' performance, Diamond told BT Sport: "Well he was making it up, wasn't he?" 

Diamond accepted a charge of "conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game" when he faced an independent disciplinary panel on Thursday.

The 48-year-old will be absent for the clashes with Northampton Saints, Worcester Warriors and Cardiff Blues. The other three matches suspended until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Diamond must also serve the final match of a three-match suspended touchline ban for a previous charge imposed in February, having already stood himself down for two games this month.

He has also been hit with a £1,500 fine, which was suspended what sanctions were imposed for his abuse of officials in an Anglo-Welsh Cup win over Harlequins nine months ago.

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