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The Bongi circus is over

NEWS: World Rugby have released a statement following their investigation into allegations made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language by South Africa’s Mbongeni Mbonambi.

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The whole saga has dominated headlines around the rugby world ahead of this weekend’s World Cup Final between the Boks and All Blacks.

It all stems from last weekend’s semifinal where Curry was heard complaining to referee Ben O’Keeffe that Mbonambi called him a “white c—” during the Boks’ 16-15 win at Stade de France.

However, in Thursday’s statement, World Rugby said there was “insufficient evidence at this time to proceed with charges”.

The governing body also confirmed that they investigated “a further allegation brought forward in recent days about a previous match in the Nations Series 2022”.

See the full statement below:

World Rugby statement

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.

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.

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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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