Argentina rugby captain Pablo Matera, two other players reinstated following ‘discriminatory and xenophobic’ social media posts

Two days after being disciplined, Pablo Matera has been reinstated as Argentina’s rugby captain and, along with teammates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino, had his suspension from the squad lifted following an investigation into “discriminatory and xenophobic” social media posts dating from between 2011 and 2013.



Pablo Matera in a blue shirt: Pablo Matera has been reinstated as Argentina's captain.


© Mark Kolbe/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Pablo Matera has been reinstated as Argentina’s captain.

The trio were suspended on Tuesday for the derogatory posts that included remarks directed at Bolivian and Paraguayan domestic staff, women, Black people and insults about religion.

However, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) announced on Thursday that the players’ apologies and good behavior in the intervening years meant these punishments were now “unnecessary.”

“During the statement, the three players expressed their deep regret, reiterated the apology, ratified that it is not what they think and that it was a reckless act typical of immaturity,” the UAR said in a statement.

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Argentina rugby captain Pablo Matera, two other players suspended for xenophobic social media posts

Pablo Matera has been stripped of his role as Argentina’s rugby captain and suspended alongside teammates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino for “discriminatory and xenophobic” social media posts dating from between 2011 and 2013, the Argentine Rugby Union (ARU) announced on Monday.



Pablo Matera in a blue shirt: Matera has been stripped of his role as captain of Argentina's rugby team.


© Mark Kolbe/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Matera has been stripped of his role as captain of Argentina’s rugby team.

All three players have featured in the ongoing Tri Nations tournament against New Zealand and Australia, with Matera instrumental in the Pumas’ first ever victory over New Zealand last month.

The decision means the trio will miss Saturday’s Test match against Australia.

“The Argentine Rugby Union strongly repudiates the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Pumas squad on social media,” said a statement from the governing body.

It added: “Although the messages were expressed between 2011 and 2013 and do not represent the integrity as people

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Pumas captain, players suspended over racist social media posts

By Ian Ransom



Pablo Matera standing in front of a crowd: Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool C - Argentina v U.S.


© Reuters/MATTHEW CHILDS
Rugby World Cup 2019 – Pool C – Argentina v U.S.

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Pablo Matera has been stripped of the Argentina captaincy and suspended along with team mates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino for posting racist comments on social media, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) said on Tuesday.

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The scandal has thrown the Argentina camp into crisis days before their final Tri-Nations match against Australia in Sydney on Saturday.

The UAR said its board had met urgently after revelations of the players’ “discriminatory” posts between 2011 and 2013.

“The Argentine Rugby Union strongly repudiates the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Los Pumas squad on social networks,” the UAR said in a statement.

“Although the messages were expressed between 2011 and 2013 … the Argentine Rugby Union condemns any expression of hatred and we consider it unacceptable that

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