Rugby World Cup 2011

No Samoa tweet ban

2011-09-23 09:51
Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono (File)





Auckland - Samoa said they had stopped short of banning players from using Twitter despite the row caused by a team member who compared the Rugby World Cup schedule to slavery, the holocaust and apartheid.

Assistant coach Tom Coventry said Samoa preferred not to "gag" players even after this week's incident, when centre Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono had to make an official apology to World Cup officials.

"We try not to gag anyone. Obviously guys have their opinions and we want them to have their opinions, it's just how they express them and some of the language they use when they are expressing themselves," Coventry said.

"I suppose he had an issue but it's just some of the words he used in his message. I think he used the word 'holocaust' and things like that, you've just got to be careful."

Sapolu Fuimaono sent out the controversial tweet after Samoa's Pool D defeat to Wales, blaming a schedule which often gives smaller countries fewer days off between games.

"Ok, it's obvious the IRB are unjust. Wales get 7 days, we get 3. Unfair treatment, like slavery, like the holocaust, like apartheid," he wrote.

The player was let off with a warning by the International Rugby Board (IRB) after a meeting with tournament officials.

"I think if he thought back about it he would have regretted some of the things he said but that's social media isn't it? That's how it works," Coventry said.

"You text something and it's gone before you think, 'I shouldn't have said that'. And the whole world can see it."

Samoa's approach contrasts with that of New Zealand, who have banned their players from using Twitter throughout the seven-week World Cup.

In May, Australia winger Digby Ioane was fined A$2 000 after he tweeted that match official Keith Brown was the "worst ref ever" after a Super Rugby game.

Coventry said the IRB had warned teams about the dangers of social media as far back as the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) in July.

"It's been advised by the IRB to all the teams to be careful on social media. That was brought up a couple of months ago during the PNC. I think there have been a couple of issues with other players from other teams," Coventry said.

"He (Sapulo Fuimaono) wasn't speaking for Manu Samoa, he was speaking as Eliota. We were as surprised as anyone at the comments. This is what happens with these young guys and social media they just need to be careful," he added.

"Sometimes the emotion gets to them and they need to be careful."

* Click HERE for the latest RWC odds on BET.CO.ZA

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
 
Teams

Pool A

 
 
 
 

Pool B

 
 
 
 

Pool C

 
 
 
 

Pool D

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tank Lanning

Lessons learnt from RWC 2011

2011-10-26 16:45

A few vital life lessons from Tank Lanning's recent trip to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup quarter and semi-finals. Read More

 
Rugby World Cup Wallpapers

Download your favourite RWC wallpaper here

 
Weather

Auckland

Sunday

Mostly sunny. Cool.

Low
High

10°C
16°C

Current Conditions
 
Vote

Taking into account where it will be held, the likely player retirements and new coaches in charge, which team looks best-placed to mount a challenge to the All Blacks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England?

 
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.