A rugby player has been banned from the game for three years after brutally tackling a female referee in frustration, Sky Sports reports.
Footage of the horrific blow by Argentine player Bruno Andres Doglioli has since gone viral.
It shows 23-year-old referee Maria Beatrice Benvenuti watching the fallout from a scrum when Doglioli approaches at full speed from behind during an Italian Serie A match on Sunday.
She suffered whiplash but got up minutes later and continued to referee the match.
He was sin-binned at the time with a yellow card. However, after reviewing footage of the intentional tackle, the Italian Rugby Federation has decided to ban the player from playing in any of their games for the next three years.
Italian Rugby Federation official Marco Cordelli, said,
The player has been banned for three years from all forms of federal activities as a result of the incident. The Italian Rugby Federation wishes to reiterate that, in imposing the highest fine in the last two decades, a zero-tolerance principle has been applied. The sanctions reiterates the firm position of the FIR against the abuse, verbally or physically, of match officials.
The player's motives were unclear, but he reportedly admitted he was guilty of the deliberate tackle during a disciplinary hearing.
Last week, a ring girl was punched in the face by an MMA fighter who flew into a rage after losing.
Footage emerged showing Andrew Whitney lash out after he was defeated by Farkhad Sharipov at the Titan Fight Championship.
But unlike the rugby player's tackle, this looked completely accidental.
A video posted on Twitter shows Whitney turning around and violently swinging, seemingly unaware the woman was standing right behind him.
Jeff Aronson, CEO of the Titan Fighting Championship, said,
In the immediate aftermath of losing a very close title fight at Titan FC 42, Andrew Whitney threw a punch out of frustration which unintentionally hit one of our ring card girls.
He added she was attended to by doctors and said she was more shocked than in pain.