The three Argentina players involved in a racism, xenophobia and discrimination scandal will have to ‘complete a series of educational courses’ before being allowed to play Test rugby again.
A disciplinary committee was belatedly appointed and a full instigation launched by the UAR after the union came under fire for effectively lifting the temporary suspension of Pablo Matera, Guido Petti and Santiago Socino for their racist and xenophobic tweets from several years ago.
Initially, Matera was stripped of the captaincy for the remainder of the season and he, Petti and Socino did not feature against the Wallabies in that was their last game of the year, but the trio appeared unlikely to face any future long-term sanction.
The UAR has now announced the findings of what it states was ‘an exhaustive investigation process’ by the disciplinary commission, which took four weeks to complete.
A statement published on the UAR’s website outlined the results of the investigation, with all three players ordered to complete a series of educational courses before they will be allowed to play Test rugby again. The board of directors have also withdrawn their endorsement of Matera’s captaincy until the player completes the required steps laid out by the UAR.
The statement details that the players must:
‘Participate in a 6-hour course that will take place in three days of 2 hours each, with two objectives: 1) to become aware of where prejudices arise and the consequences they have in relationships between people and 2) to prepare them to participate in the Rugby 2030 “Discriminatory Stereotypes and Prejudices” program, towards A New Culture.
‘Record a video with educational content on “Discriminatory stereotypes and prejudices”, which will be used as a reference pedagogical resource for the players.
‘Spend two days, each player, in the space for exchanging experiences with the players who do the course, on the days that they coordinate with the players.
‘Additionally, this board of directors will favourably evaluate any other restorative action that players voluntarily decide to carry out in a complementary manner to the actions considered here.
‘In due course and prior to a new call, the board of directors, through the relevant areas of the UAR, will control the effective fulfilment of these restorative activities, in order to resolve the questions of eligibility for future participation in representative national teams and/or eligibility to occupy the captaincy of the team, questions that this council will resolve in due course.
‘Consequently, the eligibility of the three players is subject to compliance with the restorative measures imposed and the board of directors withdraws the endorsement of Pablo Matera’s captaincy until the restorative measures are satisfactorily completed.’
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