Samoan tweeter banned

2011-10-15 17:09

Auckland - Samoa centre Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono has been given a six-month ban from all rugby, suspended for two years, after a disciplinary panel found him guilty of misconduct for a Twitter rant in which he called a senior referee racist and biased.

The 30-year-old Gloucester player will also be expected to apologise to referee Nigel Owens, do 100 hours of community service at the International Rugby Board (IRB) high performance centre in Samoa and attend a referring course, Rugby World Cup organisers said.

"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," organisers said.

Sapolu Fuimaoano had launched his tirade against Owens after the Welshman's display in Samoa's 13-5 loss to South Africa in their final pool game at North Harbour Stadium on September 30.


  • Brett - 2011-10-15 17:59

    This is ridiculous. This is what I have been saying all along. The IRB has become a dictatorship just like the Sepp Blatter Empire. Surely Fuimaono is free man to Tweet whatever he wants? Have these refs become completely untouchable?

      Steenbra - 2011-10-15 19:25

      You betta watch it! Tweet about Bryce and they may send the hit squad!

      gerhardt.nieuwoudt - 2011-10-15 21:28

      Everyone can say that a player played badly or they are dirty like the British Lions called the Boks but NO ONE can say anything about a ref!! Why are they so protected???

  • Maarten - 2011-10-15 18:08

    RWC 2011 is a farce. It has become a Referees roadshow

  • Wayne - 2011-10-15 22:51

    Hahahahaahaha. That's what happens when you act like a child after you lose a game and then blame everything from race to imperialism to downright oppression. Grow-up, do your hours and play rugby. Stop crying about it on Twitter and then, conveniently use the race card as a scapegoat. The level he is playing at is professional and players consider it - or more aptly stated - approach it as they do any other business that deals with finance and benefits. Granted the ref was harsh, but there is a proper and more professional way to deal with it than he did (clearly). He has ended-up making himself look silly and stupid. And what's the result? Another epic fail - on the field and off.

      Brett - 2011-10-15 23:46

      I agree with you on the way he behaved himself. But that is a matter of breeding. What we all have to accept from here on forward, is that social networks are going to change the way we find opinions vented acceptable and will be forced to live with criticism however justified or wrong it may happen to be. This will ultimately lead to laws being brought in and internationally enforced, because this kind of thing will most definitely result in some serious lawsuits.

  • Pieter - 2011-10-15 23:38

    Players should not criticise referees. Referees should behave in such a manner that players can respect them. The IRB should ensure that the referees are respectable persons and act when they misbehave. If the IRB act decisively every time it should players will feel less inclined to criticise referees in public. The problem with this player is that Nigel Owen in fact let the Samoans get away with murder. He, therefore, had no reason to feel affronted. It has, unfortunately, become a past time for losers to criticise the referee whether it is called for or not, like Wales. When this happens often enough no attention is given to any complaints in the end. This is one of the reasons Bryce Lawrence is very likely to walk away scott free. Besides, if the IRB investigate and castigate Bryce Lwarence, they tacitly admit that they made a mistake appointing him in the first place! It seems to me we will forever have bad referees, bad IRB decisions around refereeing incidents and players bad-mouthing referees. This will continue untill such time as the rules of rugby are simplified drastically and the approach to the adjudication of games is reviewed in depth.

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