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Ireland's Aki to miss rest of World Cup as red card is upheld

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Ireland's Aki to miss rest of World Cup as red card is upheld
Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool A - Ireland v Samoa - Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka, Japan - October 12, 2019. Ireland's Bundee Aki sits on the bench after being sent off REUTERS/Peter Cziborra   -   Copyright  PETER CZIBORRA(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Ireland centre Bundee Aki will miss the remainder of the Rugby World Cup after an independent judicial committee on Monday upheld the red card he picked up in their 47-5 victory over Samoa on Saturday.

Aki was sent off in the 29th minute following a high tackle on Samoa flyhalf Ulupano Seuteni at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium as Ireland reached the quarter-finals.

The 29-year-old had hoped to overturn the red card in a bid to prolong his tournament.

However, the judicial committee at a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo did not find that referee Nic Berry’s decision was wrong.

World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for a suspension is six weeks but Aki’s good disciplinary record had resulted in a reduced sanction of three weeks, the committee said in a statement

As a result, Aki will miss Ireland’s last-eight clash against defending champions New Zealand on Oct. 19 as well as the semi-final and the final should his team progress.

If Ireland are knocked out, he will serve the remainder of his ban with club side Connacht Rugby in the PRO14.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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