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Mike Tindall’s Career Over: Zara’s Husband Fined and Kicked out of England’s Elite Squad

Posted on the 11 November 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Mike Tindall’s career over: Zara’s husband fined and kicked out of England’s elite squad

Mike Tindall. Photo credit: Henry Southgate, http://www.flickr.com/photos/hjsouthgate/4531876538/

Mike Tindall, 33-year-old Gloucester centre and the husband of royal Zara Phillips, was thrown out of England’s elite players squad and fined £25,000 after a boozy night out in Queenstown in September put him in violation of the elite players’ agreement. The Rugby Football Union made the announcement on its website on Friday, November 11, prompting most reports to claim that Tindall’s career is now over.

“Mike Tindall’s actions reached a level of misconduct that was unacceptable in a senior England player and amounted to a very serious breach of the EPS Code of Conduct,” RFU’s Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew said in a statement. “Whilst we acknowledge his previous good character it needs to be made clear that what he did will not be tolerated.”

Two other players, fullback Chris Ashton and flanker James Haskell, have also been fined £5,000 and given warnings for their parts in “events in Dunedin” on September 9; Andrew said that the sexual harassment allegations made against them and two other players, who were not penalized, were proven false, but added that “the incident is precisely the kind of dangerous, compromising situation the players were warned about prior to departure for New Zealand and that they were specifically told to avoid in the EPS Code of Conduct”.

What did Tindall do? But exactly what Tindall did that was so wrong is somewhat unclear. According to the RFU, Tindall was fined and removed from the squad for his “conduct” at the Queenstown, New Zealand bar on September 1, 2011, following England’s 13-9 win over Argentina. Reports have skirted around the accusations against him, stating vaguely that he was caught on CCTV “cavorting” with a blond woman, presumably not his wife, in a bar where there may have been some dwarf wrestling or throwing involved. A Guardian report not long after the incident claimed that Tindall and the other players were spectators at the “Mad Midget Weekender” at the Altitude Bar; the bar manager later told the paper that the drawf event had been “misinterpreted” and that the England players conducted themselves perfectly during their night out. As to the blonde, The Sunclaimed that she pulled Tindall’s head between her breasts and rubbed it, but there was no suggestion that they left together.

“So Mike Tindall has been kicked off the team for talking to a woman, and having a drink?? Confused…” tweetedPerry Goodwin.

Is the punishment fair? Said The Guardian, “The punishment handed down to Tindall is unprecedented.” Accordingly, not everyone is convinced that the punishment fits the crime – whatever it was. Tweeted ex-England captain Will Carling, “Huge fine for Mike Tindall. V confusing? For drinking? lots were out that night drinking? Other players innocent but suspended fine???” Another Tweeter noted, “So Mike Tindall gets sacked and fined £25k but John Terry [embroiled racial slur scandal] is allowed to play on as Captain? Something’s not quite right there…” And still another chirruped, “Bit of harsh justice for Mike Tindall I think?!”

Sure, it’s fair. Stephen R. Jones thinks it was, tweeting, “Mike Tindall did not show himself or England in a good light. Penalty is commensurate with his actions.


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