Samoan tweeter gets 3-week ban

2011-11-08 10:30

London - Samoan centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is in trouble again for making Twitter comments about the IRB and Rugby World Cup, being banned for three weeks by England's Rugby Football Union after being found guilty on two charges.

The Gloucester player was also found guilty of being critical of the judicial process but was cleared late Monday of making "insulting or provocative comments" about Saracens centre Owen Farrell following the Premiership match on October 29.

Fuimaono-Sapolu can play again from November 29, but the ban could also activate a suspended six-month suspension from the IRB after he accused Welsh referee Nigel Owens of being racist and biased during the World Cup. The RFU panel said it will be up to the IRB to decide if this latest infraction triggered the six-month suspension.

RFU panel chair Daniel White says "we have imposed a sentence designed to deter others who may be tempted to act in this way."

"The Twitter forum is not one for banter and is not the equivalent of a clubhouse discussion," White said. "It is in fact a public forum, and for that reason players should be guarded in what is said and therefore endorsed."