'Enhanced recording' clears Herman Ese'ese as Hull FC prop avoids RFL tribunal

Hull FC prop Herman Ese'ese in action.
-Credit: (Image: SW Pix)


Hull FC prop Herman Ese'ese has been cleared of all charges against him. The front rower was accused by a London Broncos player of 'verbal abuse' during the Black and Whites' clash in Wimbledon earlier this month and was handed a Grade F charge ahead of an independent hearing this Tuesday evening.

That charge, which was based on "verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national or ethnic origin," would have carried a minimum six-game suspension for Ese'ese if found guilty, but has now been 'unequivocally withdrawn' with the prop now free to play in Friday's game at Huddersfield Giants and beyond.

The charge came after London Broncos submitted further evidence, as requested by the governing body. However, an enhanced recording which has been prepared by a specialist sound engineer using the referee’s microphone has cleared Ese'ese's name, with the findings 'compelling' and 'contradicting' of the original allegations.

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The RFL have confirmed that Ese'ese is not guilty of any offence, and thanked the players conduct, and that of Hull FC, through this process. In a statement, Hull FC and the RFL posted: "Herman Ese’ese of Hull FC will no longer face an Operational Rules Tribunal, as had been stated last week, following the submission of further evidence to the RFL’s Match Review Panel which has led to the charge of verbal abuse in a Betfred Super League fixture against London Broncos on May 12 being unequivocally withdrawn.

"The RFL is happy to correct the record and ensure that it is publicly acknowledged that Herman is not guilty of any offence. The new evidence includes an enhanced recording which has been prepared by a specialist sound engineer using the referee’s microphone. This evidence is compelling and contradicts the basis of the original allegations.

"The RFL has conveyed sympathy to the player and his club for the public nature of this process over the last two weeks - although it believes that all parties and the Match Review Panel have acted in good faith at all times. The RFL is grateful to Hull FC for recognising the need to investigate serious complaints.

"Hull FC has provided unwavering support to Herman throughout this process and is delighted with the RFL’s decision. The club will work with Herman to ensure that he and the club move forward from this exceptionally challenging period together.

"Herman has thanked all those who have stood by him and describes feeling 'overwhelming relief and gratitude that the truth has come out.' Herman and the club now want to focus on rugby."

Read more: Simon Grix reveals 'honest' talk with Herman Ese'ese as Hull FC prop cleared of abuse charge