VIDEO: Death threats - 'No place in this game for hooligans'
REACTION: South Africa are comfortable with the security measures already in place, despite death threats this week being issued to scrumhalf Cobus Reinach.
The French-based No.9, Reinach, who plays for Montpellier in the Top 14 and European Cup, received abuse and death threats on social media after the Springboks beat hosts France 29-28 in the World Cup quarterfinal in Paris last Sunday.
The user by the name of Ewen (ew3n_db9) not only accused the Boks of ‘cheating’ (gang of thieves), but also suggested he should be ‘murdered by people in Montpellier.
South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus revealed the threats in a social media reaction.
Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick, addressing the media on the eve of the Springboks’ semifinal face-off with England, said there is no place in the game for such “hooligans”.
“We are aware of the situation with Cobus [Reinach] and his family,” he told @rugby365com.
He added that they already have enough security measures in place and have handed the matter over to French authorities.
Stick said Reinach is in a good space, with his family and teammates rallying around him.
“I must also give credit to the organisers for the security around our hotels,” the assistant coach said.
“The World Cup security is just [on] another level.
“I don’t think there is anything to worry about, we are well protected.
“Cobus [Reinach] has his family around him and our players are all in a good space.
“There’s no place in the game for such behaviour. You win some, you lose some and you accept it.”
(The Springboks react to death threats to one of their own …)
Springbok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit described the threats against Reinach and his family as an ‘unfortunate’ situation.
“As far as I know it has been reported to the French authorities,” he said, adding: “They are handling it now.”
* Meanwhile Jacques Rivoal, Chairman of France 2023, said in his weekly media briefing that nothing has changed in terms of security status at the tournament.
“For us, that doesn’t change anything about our internal security processes,” he told a media briefing.
“We are already at a maximum level with a system of double measures for fans: a visual search and then a physical scan.
“The increase in the security level threat means more security forces have been mobilised.
“It is an extra element.
“However, that has not changed our internal process.
“We are always very vigilant and very focused. The
“message for fans is to try to arrive as early as possible at the stadiums.”
At the start of the tournament, World Rugby announced that it had implemented transformative measures to protect all match officials and players from online abuse during the World Cup.
“The move underpins World Rugby’s wider commitment to promote and protect the sport’s values and World Cup 2023’s mantra as the sport’s greatest celebration of togetherness, driving positive change,” the statement said.
“World Rugby is partnering with a data science company, who will use its AI-driven Threat Matrix service to put an online protective shield around all tournament match officials, players and coaches..”