Argentina suspend three players including skipper Pablo Matera for offensive social media posts

Pablo Matera has lost the captaincy
Pablo Matera has lost the captaincy

Argentine Rugby Union has confirmed the suspension of three players including skipper Pablo Matera along with Guido Petti and Santiago Socino for posting racists comments in social media.

According to the statement released by UAR the posts were made between 2011 and 2013 and is against the board policies. As a result, Matera has been revoked from his captaincy role and all the three players will face a disciplinary hearing.

“The Argentine Rugby Union strongly condemns the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Los Pumas team on social networks and, meeting urgently, the Board of Directors resolves: In the first place, revoke the captaincy of Pablo Matera and request the staff to propose a new captain to the Board of Directors," read a state from the Argentina board.

“Second, suspend Pablo Matera, Guido Petti and Santiago Socino from the national team until their disciplinary situation is defined.

“Third, initiate a disciplinary process for the three mentioned players, in charge of the Disciplinary Commission of the Argentine Rugby Union.

“Although the messages were expressed between 2011 and 2013 and do not represent the integrity as people that the three showed during this time in Los Pumas, from the Argentine Rugby Union we condemn any expression of hatred and consider it unacceptable that those who express them represent our country.”

Matera had suspended his Twitter account since the news broke out but issued an apology on his Instagram account.

“I had a tougher time. I am very ashamed. Apologies to all those who were offended by the atrocities I wrote,” he said.

“At that moment I did not imagine who I was going to become. Today I have to take charge of what I said 9 years ago.

“I’m also sorry to my team and my family for the moment they are going through my actions and thanks to the people who love me for their support.”

Matera recently captained Argentina to their first-ever win over New Zealand in the opening game of the ongoing Tri-Nations Rugby Championship but now will miss the final round clash of the tournament against the Wallabies on Saturday.