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simon says Rugby star Zebo disappointed with World Rugby's response to Argentinian racism controversy


Simon Zebo is adisappointed

Simon Zebo is adisappointed

Simon Zebo is adisappointed

Irish rugby star Simon Zebo condemned World Rugby’s response to racism from Argentinian players as “pathetic”.

Three Agrentinian players were suspended for racist tweets that resurfaced, including captain Pablo Matera. However, the Argentina Rugby Union (UAR) rescinded the sanctions last week and Matera has since been brought back on as captain.

Racing-92 ull-back Zebo condemned the UAR’s decision, and expressed disappointment with their judgment.

“Pretty poor, I think disappointing,” he said. “It's not as if those tweets are [from] 20 or 30 years ago. They're only seven or eight years ago. So pretty disgusting.”

“I'd never play in a team with him in a changing room or someone who's done something like that in the past,” he said on the The RugbyPass Offload podcast.

“It wasn't exactly a slip of the tongue. That's literally one of the worst things you can say or one of the worst mentalities you can have.”

Matera in particular was found to have several racist and xenophobic tweets dating from the early 2010s, including one saying: “South Africa baby! I’m finally leaving this country full of blacks”. Another tweet mentioned how we wanted to run over Black people with his car.

Teammates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino made similarly racist remarks, with Petti calling domestic workers “primates”.

Zebo added that beyond the racist comments, it was the rugby world’s governing body that was particularly disappointing.

“The more disappointing thing would be World Rugby for sure, that it took them two weeks to say something,” he said. “They said something like they're investigating or trying to find out.”

“The tweets are there in black and white. You look at them and read them.”

The 35-time Ireland cap went on to criticise the governing body, saying: “Surely, they've had dialogue with the UAR before this. I just think it's very disappointing.”

“Ugo Monye put it quite well in his chat with BT Sport that rugby wants to combat racism until rugby has to combat racism.”

“It's very disappointing that nothing has been said or done and it was a great opportunity to do so. I'm just very disappointed by World Rugby.”

Online Editors