Mbonambi’s inclusion in the Springboks team for the World Cup final against New Zealand on Saturday was confirmed on Thursday. There were concerns about his eligibility if he had been found guilty of any misconduct. However, he has been given the green light to participate in the match.

AP News

South Africa hooker Bongi Mbonambi was picked to play in the Rugby World Cup final after World Rugby found no evidence he racially abused England player Tom Curry in their semifinal last weekend.

England’s rugby union stood by Curry’s allegation and claimed Mbonambi also directed discriminatory remarks at Curry in a match last year.

Mbonambi was selected by the Springboks on Thursday for the World Cup final against New Zealand on Saturday. His participation could have been jeopardized if he’d been found guilty of misconduct.

An investigation was opened by rugby’s governing body after Curry, who is white, complained of being the subject of a discriminatory remark from Mbonambi, who is Black, during South Africa’s close 16-15 win last weekend at Stade de France.

“Any allegation of discrimination is taken extremely seriously by World Rugby, warranting a thorough investigation,” World Rugby said in a statement on Thursday.

“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.”

World Rugby added it believes Curry made his allegations “in good faith, and that there is no suggestion that the allegation was deliberately false or malicious.”

After the decision was announced, England’s Rugby Football Union said Curry also alleged to World Rugby investigators that he had been “the victim of the same abuse, from the same player” in an England-South Africa game at Twickenham last November.

“The RFU fully support Tom Curry in raising the racially abusive behaviour he experienced,” the RFU said.

Curry, who was selected to play against Argentina in the third-place game on Friday, has also received the support of the England team and his Sale Sharks club this week after a deluge of abuse on social media.

“World Rugby is also concerned by the social media abuse that both players have been subjected to this week,” the governing body added. “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.” – apnews.com

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