The racist tweets that led to the suspension of three Los Pumas players, including now ex-captain Pablo Matera, were dug up as retaliation from the Argentinian public for a perceived lack of respect from the team for Diego Maradona.
In shocking news that rocked world rugby on Tuesday, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) released a statement revealing Matera’s captaincy has been revoked and he, as well as two other senior players, lock Guido Petti and hooker Santiago Socino, were suspended for racist and xenophobic tweets and texts between 2011 and 2013.
All the tweets have been taken down, but according to leading Argentina newspaper La Nación, one of Matera’s posts relates to a previous tour of South Africa.
According to the newspaper, the tweet read: ‘SUDAFRICA BABY! Por fin me voy de este país Ileno de negros. OUCH!’
This translates into: ‘South Africa baby! At last I’m leaving this country full of blacks. Ouch!’
Now a new report, published by the Herald, revealed the reason Los Pumas believe the tweets resurfaced eight years since they were first posted.
Sources close to the Argentinian team said they believe the Matera tweets were dug up and shared online to sabotage the team after they’d been the subject of an intense backlash from the Argentinian public for a perceived lack of respect for soccer legend Maradona in the wake of his passing last week.
The Argentinians wore a black armband as a tribute to the 60-year-old but the gesture was overshadowed by the All Blacks’ tribute to the soccer legend, with New Zealand captain Sam Cane laying down a No 10 jersey with Maradona’s name on the back prior to performing the haka before the Test.
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