rwc
 

Samoan bad boy gets lengthy ban

Sat, 15 Oct 2011 00:00
Large 2502 5551 5784 0 2631352
Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu was given a six-month suspended ban from rugby on Saturday after accusing Welsh referee Nigel Owens of racism and bias following the Pacific islanders' World Cup exit.

Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu was given a six-month suspended ban from rugby on Saturday after accusing Welsh referee Nigel Owens of racism and bias following the Pacific islanders' World Cup exit.

Fuimaono Sapolu, who made a number of controversial Twitter posts during the tournament, took to the social networking site again following a 13-5 defeat by defending champions South Africa last month to slam the performance of Owens, whose Facebook page was littered with abusive comments after the match.

"I can understand the hate!! Haha good luck u racist biased prick," tweeted the 30-year-old Fuimaono Sapolu. "Get s.a (South Africa) into next round. The plan was obvious. Can't wait 2 meet irb (International Rugby Board) members in public."

A reconvened disciplinary hearing here on Saturday, which earlier this month provisionally banned Fuimaono Sapolu from all rugby, dismissed the player's accusations against Owens.

It said the midfielder would have his six-month ban, which is suspended for two years, activated unless he offered a "full and unconditional apology to Nigel Owens and unconditional retraction of any criticism of him," attended a minimum of 100 hours rugby community work in Samoa within the next 12 months and also attended and passed a recognised referee course within the next three months.

"If the player fails to comply with any of the above conditions or makes any public criticism which results in a proven misconduct offence regarding a match official, the IRB or the disciplinary process, the six-month playing suspension will be activated immediately," said an IRB statement released Sunday.

Independent judicial officer Jeff Blackett of England, who heard Sapolu's case, ruled the comments about Owens "impugn his integrity and reputation both as a referee and as a man".

And Blackett, who labelled the player's behaviour towards Owens "offensive", insisted there was "absolutely no evidence the referee was biased in the sense that he deliberately favoured one side or the other".

"To suggest that Nigel Owens is racist against Samoans is also completely inappropriate," Blackett said.

Ealier in the tournament, after Samoa's defeat by Wales, Fuimaono Sapolu, who plays for English Premiership side Gloucester, took to Twitter to accuse World Cup organisers of "slavery" and a "holocaust" for the way teams such as his had to play twice in four days while the Welsh had a week off between matches.

He later defended his reference to the Holocaust by saying the scheduling too was an example of one group of people "thinking they're more superior and they can do whatever they want to another group".

"So there's a parallel there, albeit a very small one," he explained.

Fuimaono Sapolu has a right of appeal within 36 hours of notification of Blackett's written decision.

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 04 September 2015
Blue Bulls v Free State Cheetahs 17h10 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 05 September 2015
Sharks v Pumas 13h00 Kings Park, Durban
England v Ireland 13h30 London
Western Province v Griquas 15h05 Newlands
Wales v Italy 16h00 Cardiff
Golden Lions v EP Kings 17h10 Ellis Park
France v Scotland 19h00 Paris
Sun, 06 September 2015
United States v Australia 00h30 Chicago
WORLD CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0
Uruguay 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0
United States 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0
Romania 0 0 0 0 0
RELATED ARTICLES