The South African Rugby Referees’ Association has alleged that Jaco Peyper was initially set to referee the semi-final between the All Blacks and England before World Rugby’s U-turn over his controversial photo with Wales fans.
The photo depicted Peyper posing with a raised elbow, seemingly mimicking the act of France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina, who received a red card from the South African official during Wales’ quarter-final victory over France.
World Rugby investigated the incident and subsequently confirmed that Peyper was not considered for officiating selection for this weekend’s semi-finals.
The South African Rugby Referees’ Association, which is made up of the 14 provincial referee societies, posted to their website on Wednesday to highlight an apparent element of hypocrisy from World Rugby.
‘The picture appeared on social media, and there was an outcry amongst disappointed French supporters,’ the SARRA site post read. ‘That was on Sunday. On Monday, World Rugby chose Peyper for the semi-final match between England and New Zealand. On Tuesday morning they took him off the match and instead appointed Nigel Owens, saying: “World Rugby can confirm that the match officials selection committee did not consider Jaco Peyper for selection this weekend.”
‘In effect he was suspended, not allowed to perform for a match. That is what would happen to a player guilty of foul play on the field. Peyper’s involvement in the picture hardly qualified as foul play. It also is highly unlikely that he would have posed for the picture with the intention of publishing it for the world to see.’
Photo: EPA/Mark R. Cristino via BackpagePix