South Africa’s Bongi Mbonambi cleared to play in Rugby World Cup final after avoiding racism charge

Curry alleged that Mbonambi called him a 'white c***' during England's semi-final defeat to South Africa.

South Africa’s Bongi Mbonambi cleared to play in Rugby World Cup final after avoiding racism charge
England's Tom Curry (right) and South Africa's Bongi Mbonambi (left) during the Rugby World Cup, semi final match at the Stade de France
Bongi Mbonambi (left) allegedly called Tom Curry a ‘white c***’ during Saturday’s semi-final (PA)

South Africa hooker Bongi Mbonambi has been cleared to play in the Rugby World Cup final after World Rugby found ‘insufficient evidence’ to charge him in relation to Tom Curry’s racism allegation.

England flanker Curry alleged that Mbonambi called him a ‘white c***’ during his side’s semi-final defeat to South Africa in Paris last Saturday.

A statement from World Rugby on Thursday morning read: ‘World Rugby has undertaken a review of allegations made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language by South Africa’s Mbongeni Mbonambi during the England versus South Africa Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final on Saturday along with a further allegation brought forward in recent days about a previous match in the Autumn Nations Series 2022,” read a World Rugby statement on Thursday.

‘Any allegation of discrimination is taken extremely seriously by World Rugby, warranting a thorough investigation.

‘Having considered all the available evidence, including match footage, audio and evidence from both teams, the governing body has determined that there is insufficient evidence at this time to proceed with charges. Therefore, the matter is deemed closed unless additional evidence comes to light.

‘It is important to note that World Rugby accepts that Tom Curry made the allegations in good faith, and that there is no suggestion that the allegation was deliberately false or malicious.

‘World Rugby is also concerned by the social media abuse that both players have been subjected to this week.

‘There is no place in rugby or society for discrimination, abuse or hate speech, and World Rugby urges fans to embrace the sport’s values of respect, integrity and solidarity.’

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