Lautoka forward Samuela Drudru faces a lengthy stint on the sideline after he was suspended for seven matches for referring to match officials as “white people”.
The Fiji football international was sent off by New Zealand referee Campbell-Kirk Waugh during last month’s OFC Champions League semi final first leg against Marist FC.
The Fiji Sun reports the 29 year old Drudru admitted last week that he used the term ‘white people’ after he was shown a second yellow card for a dangerous tackle midway through the second half at Churchill Park.
Drudru is suspended for seven matches at all levels, banned from entering the confines of the stadium and was also fined $NZ7,500.
Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy says they only found out on Friday, two days before their grand final first leg against Team Wellington.
“The last minute we came to know that Samuela Drudru is not playing, about his sanction, and then I think New Zealand immigration did not allow
Zibraaz (Sahib) and Peni Finau to come to New Zealand, where we lost three top players,” he said.
“So it’s just part of football and then we need to prepare better.”
Lautoka FC has until next Saturday to appeal the ban.