Rassie suspended... again
NEWS: Springboks Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has been suspended by World Rugby.
Erasmus’ latest ban comes after a string of Twitter posts over two weekends which focused on refereeing decisions during the first two rounds of the year-end tour.
South Africa fell to a 26-30 defeat against France in Marseille on Saturday, a game which featured a number of controversial moments, including two red cards being handed out by referee Wayne Barnes.
In the wake of the French encounter, Erasmus posted a series of tweets – accompanied by videos – which highlighted a number of refereeing decisions made by Wayne Barnes.
While Erasmus’ tweets were supported by lots of his fans, there were some who did not agree with his methods.
In one of his social media posts, the Bok boss explained that his tweets are not there to criticise referees.
He also tweeted that accusations that his videos have led to threats against Wayne Barnes are ‘completely unfounded’ and he argued that his videos ‘were not aimed at the officials, but to our SA fans on what we should do better’.
Like myself the referee of the French test & his family have received threats & abuse. Apparently it’s partly due to my tweets which is totally unfounded.Tweets were not aimed at the officials,but to our 🇿🇦fans on what we should do better. Have a go at me not the ref!! Tweets👇🏿 pic.twitter.com/XYnrtjl091
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) November 17, 2022
However, following the social media rant, World Rugby has handed a two-match ban to the Director of Rugby.
The 2019 World Cup-winning coach has only just returned from a stadium ban following a World Rugby suspension for his infamous hour-long video criticising referee Nic Berry’s performance in the first Test between the Springboks and the British and Irish Lions last year.
The official World Rugby statement read: “World Rugby has reviewed the recent social media posts by SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus that relate to match officiating in the year-end tour.
“Match officials are the backbone of the sport and without them there is no game. World Rugby condemns any public criticism of match official selection, performance or integrity, which undermines their role, the trust-based coach/match officials feedback process and the values of integrity, respect, solidarity and discipline that are at the heart of the sport.
“The behaviour of coaching staff and match officials are widely observed by fans, media and participants at every level, and such behaviours affect how the values are applied across the game.
“In addition, under the Match Officials Communication Framework, national teams have the ability to enter into a confidential feedback process, which is critical for success in a high-performance environment. The success of these communications relies on direct and honest feedback which is delivered and received in a confidential way.”
World Rugby also stated that the ban includes no ‘engagement with media and social media in relation to match officials.’
“In line with the Framework, World Rugby has the ability to impose a sanction where a breach has occurred.
“Having considered the matter World Rugby has issued a two-match ban against Rassie Erasmus and accordingly he may not take part in any match day activity in relation to the two upcoming test matches that South Africa has against Italy on November 19, 2022, and England on November 26, 2022. The ban includes engagement with media and social media in relation to match officials.”
— World Rugby Media (@worldrugbymedia) November 17, 2022