Defending European champion Saracens will stay in the Champions Cup after avoiding further sanction beyond a fine for fielding an ineligible player.
Saracens, who have been relegated from the Premiership for breaking the competition’s salary cap, faced a points deduction and potential exit from the European Champions Cup.
However, an independent disciplinary committee instead decided to impose a fine of €50,000 on the club, half of which will be suspended until the end of the 2020-21 season.
At the centre of the issue was prop Titi Lamositele, whose work permit expired a day before Saracens faced Racing 92 in January. Saracens would go on to beat the French club in a decisive match which sent them through to the quarter-finals.
The committee accepted that Saracens had not sought to gain any unfair advantage by selecting the player, who came on as a replacement in the 60th minute.
‘The committee believes that this was an unfortunate sequence of events brought about by an administrative oversight,’ committee chairman Roger Morris said.
‘However, Saracens are in breach of the disciplinary rules of the Champions Cup, and that breach constitutes misconduct which can be proportionately dealt with by way of a financial penalty.’
The quarter-final between Saracens and Leinster will go ahead as scheduled in Ireland on 4 April. The match is a repeat of last season’s final, which Saracens won to take the European title.
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