Updated: Friday, 03 January 2014 01:37 | By Agence France-Presse

Chabal faces lengthy ban for knock-out punch

Former France international Sebastien Chabal faces a lengthy ban for throwing a hefty punch during his club Lyon's second division game against Agen when he appears before a disciplinary hearing on Friday.

Chabal faces lengthy ban for knock-out punch

French rugbyman Sebastien Chabal is pictured during his official presentation at the LOU (Lyon Olympique Universitaire) on April 20, 2012 at the Matmut stadium in Venissieux, outside Lyon

The bearded back-row forward, who has made it clear he intends to plead guilty, could be suspended for between two weeks and one year over the incident which has become a popular YouTube hit.

Chabal found himself in hot water after striking Agen's Marc Giraud, who was holding onto his shirt in the game last month.

The force of the blow knocked Giraud unconscious and he was carried off on a stretcher. 

Chabal picked up a yellow card for the strike which he later described as "regrettable but a reflex action".

He told newspaper Le Progres: "There's not much else to say, except to apologise for my angry behaviour, which is not acceptable on a rugby pitch."

The 36-year-old, an iconic figure in the French game, earned 62 international caps between 2000 and 2011.

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