Argentina Rugby Union rescinds suspension of Pumas trio over racist posts
SYDNEY - The Argentina Rugby Union (UAR) has rescinded its sanction against three players who used racial and xenophobic comments on social media but they were not selected in the team for Saturday’s Tri-Nations match against Australia.
Pablo Matera was stripped of the captaincy on Tuesday and he, Guido Petti and Santiago Socino were suspended for posting comments disparaging Black people and those from other South American nations between 2011 and 2013.
UAR said the players' apologies, combined with their good behaviour in the years since the comments were posted, means the suspension can be lifted.
"The preventive measures are unnecessary so we have resolved to lift the suspension of the three players and reinstate the captaincy to Pablo Matera," the UAR said in a statement.
"The disciplinary process continues and the commission will arrive at a final resolution in the next few days."
The UAR said the players had shown themselves to be "people with firm values and worth being part of our team". They had apologised and were helping the commission in its inquiry.
"The three players expressed their profound regret, they repeated their apology and once again said this was not what they think and that it was an imprudent and immature act," the statement added.
None of the trio were named in the matchday squad for Saturday's test against Australia at Western Sydney Stadium, however, with centre Jeronimo de la Fuente replacing Matera as skipper.
Reports in Argentina said the UAR's reversal had been the result of protests by players, former players and clubs in the country.