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French rugby probes 'racist' incident

NEWS: The French rugby federation said Monday it had opened an investigation into allegations that racist insults were used during a third division match in which seven red cards were issued.

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The ill-tempered match between Tarbes and Lannemezan in Federale 1, the top amateur tier in French rugby, was marked by a series of brawls leading to seven players being sent off and allegations of racism from Tarbes lock Marvin Woki.

Woki, elder brother of French international Cameron Woki, said he had been targeted by racist insults and gestures without naming the alleged perpetrator during the February 15 match won 36-3 by Tarbes

“One of our players got a yellow card along with one of theirs. As he was walking off the pitch he turned to me and began to insult me,” using crude racists terms, Woki told Le Parisien newspaper.

“It is a disgrace,” his brother Cameron on Twitter. “We don’t want this in our rugby.”

The federation said it had a no-tolerance policy for racism and would probe the allegations.

The investigation “will establish the truth about whether racist terms were used during the match”, the federation announced.

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“Be reassured @cameronwoki. Zero tolerance for any racist words or acts,” tweeted federation vice-president Serge Simon.

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