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Rugby World Cup | Semi-Finals
Oct 21, 2023 at 8pm UK
 
England
15-16
South Africa
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Snyman (69')

RFU "deeply disappointed" by World Rugby dropping Tom Curry racism complaint

RFU
© Reuters
The RFU express 'deep disappointment' at World Rugby's decision to drop Tom Curry's complaint over an alleged racist comment by South Africa's Mbongeni Mbonambi.

The RFU have admitted that they are "deeply disappointed" by World Rugby's decision not to investigate an alleged racist comment towards Tom Curry any further.

During England's 16-15 Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat to South Africa at the weekend, Curry told referee Ben O'Keeffe that he had been the victim of racist abuse by Mbongeni Mbonambi.

The Springboks hooker was also accused of making a similar comment during a Test contest in the autumn of 2022, but World Rugby has decided to drop the case against Mbonambi citing "insufficient evidence".

The governing body analysed audio and visual footage from the match before deciding not to pursue any action against Mbonambi, who has strenuously denied the allegations against him.

The 32-year-old has been named in South Africa's starting lineup for Saturday's final against New Zealand, and the RFU have hit out at World Rugby for denying Curry the chance to have his voice heard.

The Sale Sharks man has also been the victim of online abuse since making his complaint, which the RFU labelled "disgusting", saying in a statement: "The RFU fully support Tom Curry in raising the racially abusive behaviour he experienced whilst playing for England against South Africa.

 England's Tom Curry before being shown a yellow card by referee Mathieu Raynal on September 9, 2023© Reuters

"During the match between England and South Africa on Saturday 21st October 2023, Tom Curry reported to the referee that he has been racially abused by Mbongeni Mbonambi.

"The subsequent World Rugby investigation were informed by Tom Curry that he had also been the victim of the same abuse, from the same player, in the Autumn Test 2022. World Rugby have today announced their decision not to bring charges in respect of either incident.

"The RFU are deeply disappointed by the decision taken by World Rugby. The decision not to put the evidence before an Independent Disciplinary Panel has denied the disciplinary process the opportunity to hear Tom Curry's voice and to independently assess his account of these serious events, together with the other available evidence.

"In their continued full support of Tom, the RFU together with the England Squad, condemn the disgusting abuse he and his family has received on social media as a result of his having had the courage to put unacceptable behaviour that has no place in society or on the rugby field, in the public eye.

"Abuse of any kind is not acceptable and goes against the core values of rugby. It is important that it is safe and acceptable for everyone involved in rugby union to raise concerns, and the RFU continue to encourage everyone to report any unacceptable behaviour in the game."

Curry completed 69 minutes of England's defeat to South Africa in the last four and has been named at blindside flanker for Friday's bronze final against Argentina.

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