Springboks hooker Bongi Mbonambi will face no sanction for his alleged racial slur to Tom Curry during the Rugby World Cup semi-final, World Rugby has confirmed.
World Rugby had undertaken a review of allegations made by Curry in which he alleged that the South African hooker had called him a “white c**t’.
However, rugby’s governing body states that while any allegation of discrimination is taken “extremely seriously”, their investigation determined that there is “insufficient evidence”.
It is also noted that the England v South Africa match in November 2022 was also reviewed by World Rugby.
World Rugby’s statement
World Rugby add that they deem the matter as closed unless additional evidence comes to light.
This means that Mbonambi is cleared to feature in the Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand on Saturday. The Springbok has been named in the starting line-up for the clash and will move into joint-fourth place on the list of most starts at hooker for South Africa.
He passes Malcolm Marx with his 35th start, with John Smit (81), Bismarck du Plessis (50), James Dalton (40) and Adriaan Strauss (35) leading the list.
“World Rugby has undertaken a review of allegations made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language by South Africa’s Mbongeni Mbonambi,” World Rugby’s statement read.
“World Rugby has undertaken a review of allegations made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language by South Africa’s Mbongeni Mbonambi during the England versus South Africa Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final on Saturday along with a further allegation brought forward in recent days about a previous match in the Autumn Nations Series 2022.
“Any allegation of discrimination is taken extremely seriously by World Rugby, warranting a thorough investigation. Having considered all the available evidence, including match footage, audio and evidence from both teams, the governing body has determined that there is insufficient evidence at this time to proceed with charges. Therefore, the matter is deemed closed unless additional evidence comes to light.
“It is important to note that World Rugby accepts that Tom Curry made the allegations in good faith, and that there is no suggestion that the allegation was deliberately false or malicious.
“World Rugby is also concerned by the social media abuse that both players have been subjected to this week. There is no place in rugby or society for discrimination, abuse or hate speech, and World Rugby urges fans to embrace the sport’s values of respect, integrity and solidarity.”