Peterborough Phantoms player banned for a season after using 'inappropriate' language - six months suspended

Ralfs Circenis.Ralfs Circenis.
Ralfs Circenis.
Peterborough Phantoms player Ralfs Circenis has been banned for an entire season for allegedly making discriminatory comments during a National League game against Swindon Wildcats at Planet Ice on Sunday, March 31.

England Ice Hockey announced the ban on Saturday morning. Six months of the ban will be suspended so Circenis will be able to play again from January 2025.

The governing body’s statement on Circenis read: ‘1 season ban – racial or sexual slur by inappropriate language rather than with malicious intent. This suspension includes a further 2 game ban for surpassing +10 penalty points threshold. 6 months of the ban is suspended pending the player’s future conduct, meaning the ban will end on 31st December.’

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Phantoms have responded this morning. Their statement read: ‘Peterborough Phantoms is against all forms of discrimination and there is no place for discrimination in our club. As published by England Ice Hockey, Ralfs Circenis has been suspended for six months for alleged discriminating comments made in the fixture versus Swindon Wildcats on Sunday March 31st.

‘Whatever anyone’s view on the suspension severity it is important to confirm that as an organisation we do not condone such views or behaviours and any member of our organisation who displays this behaviour is not sharing the views or expressions of the club.

‘We have requested more information and the officials’ reports and will not comment further until we have had a chance to review this information.

It’s unwelcome news on the day Phantoms start their National League play-off campaign. They travel to Slough to face the Bees in their opening game tonight (6.30pm) before hosting the same opposition at Planet Ice on Sunday (5.30pm).

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Latvian Circenis is in his second spell with Phantoms. He played briefly for Bristol Pitbulls before rejoining Phantoms for the start of the current campaign. He first signed for Phantoms in the summer of 2022.

The 26 year-old has also played in Canada and Sweden.

Ice hockey discipline is governed by DOPS – the Department of Player Safety – and last month Phantoms were angered that MK Lightning player Ross Venus received just a six-game ban for an incident with left city player Duncan Speirs with a broken leg and severely damaged ankle ligaments.

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