World Rugby has said South Africa captain Bongi Mbonambi does not have a case to answer over claims he called England flanker Tom Curry a “white c**t” in last weekend’s rugby world cup semi final.
Curry made the claims to the referee during the game and English authorities made a formal complaint to World Rugby earlier this week.
“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,” a World Rugby statement released this morning said.
“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.”
Springbok supporters have this week claimed Curry mistook a defensive call of ‘wit kant’ – meaning white side in Afrikaans – for the racist slur.
World Rugby said both players had received social media abuse this week as a result of the very public complaints.
“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,” the governing body said.
It means Mbonambi is free to play in this weekend’s Rugby World Cup final between the Boks and New Zealand.
It will be the fifth consecutive World Cup one by one of the two southern hemisphere giants.
Following the decision, England Rugby released a punchy statement in which it said the “RFU fully support Tom Curry in raising the racially abusive behaviour he experienced whilst playing for England against South Africa.”
“During the match between England and South Africa on Saturday 21st October 2023, Tom Curry reported to the referee that he has been racially abused by Mbongeni Mbonambi.
“The subsequent World Rugby investigation were informed by Tom Curry that he had also been the victim of the same abuse, from the same Player, in the Autumn Test 2022.
“World Rugby have today announced their decision not to bring charges in respect of either incident. “
“The RFU are deeply disappointed by the decision taken by World Rugby. The decision not to put the evidence before an Independent Disciplinary Panel has denied the disciplinary process the opportunity to hear Tom Curry’s voice and to independently assess his account of these serious events, together with the other available evidence.”
“In their continued full support of Tom, the RFU together with the England Squad, condemn the disgusting abuse he and his family has received on social media as a result of his having had the courage to put unacceptable behaviour that has no place in society or on the rugby field, in the public eye.”