1 Aug 2011

Sport: Samoa keen to keep sending refs to American Samoa

10:35 am on 1 August 2011

The Samoa Rugby Union says it's keen to keep sending referees to officiate in American Samoa provided adequate security measures are put in place.

The union withdrew its services following the assault of referee Ponifasio Vasa, was punched and kicked during the shield match between Nu'uuli and Avele last weekend.

Eight players from the Nu'uuli team have been arrested by police while all players proven to have taken part in the assault of a referee last weekend have been banned from the sport for life by the American Samoa Rugby Union.

The Union's Board has also suspended Nu'uuli from competition for five years and fined it US five thousand dollars.

The Chief Executive of the Samoa Rugby Union, Sua Peter Schuster, says it's not for him to judge the sanctions imposed on the players, as that decision is the perogative of American Samoa.

He says their focus was never about looking for a culprit but ensuring such an attack doesn't happen in future.

"I think our concern with the security of the players and the safety of the players and referees and whoever are involved - not only the participants but also the spectators as well - as long as they institute proper policy and safety matters we would be happy to continue our relationship with the American Samoa Rugby Union."