RassieGate: World Rugby need 'serious' wake-up call
UPDATE: Rassie Erasmus may find himself in heaps of trouble, however, he has managed to shed light on the unspoken issues of World Rugby.
World Rugby announced on Monday that Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby will face an independent misconduct hearing.
This follows comments Erasmus made regarding the match officials performances during the First Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions.
After Springboks’ 17-22 defeat in the first Test, Erasmus made a 62-minute video in which he strongly criticised the refereeing in the first Test.
In the video Erasmus – who also acts as the Bok team’s water boy – highlights a litany of errors by Australian referee Nick Berry and his fellow match officials.
World Rugby has since stepped in and charged Erasmus and SA Rugby with misconduct.
If found guilty of breaching Regulation 19, Erasmus and SA Rugby could face anything from reprimands to fines or even a forfeit of a Test match.
While many have questioned the unusual step of releasing or leaking the video via social media, Marco Masotti, a partner in a leading US law firm, has fully backed Erasmus.
On Wednesday the South African-born Massotti, who heads up MVM Holding which owns a 51 percent stake in the Sharks franchise, added his voice to social media with an eye-raising tweet.
“I have a team of New York lawyers ready to take care of Rassie and SA Rugby. Let us put World Rugby on trial,” tweeted the 52-year-old.
When questioned about the statement on Twitter, Massotti admitted to @rugby365com it was a ‘playful tweet’.
However, Massotti revealed that World Rugby should pay serious attention to Erasmus’ concerns, stating it’s the only way to get rugby to the next level.
Erasmus has publicly highlighted one of rugby’s biggest issues – which is the officials’ applications of the law.
“It was a playful tweet,” Massotit told rugby365com.
“I just want to make the point that World Rugby needs to address the issues raised by Rassie if we want to get the game to the next level,”
In regards to the Erasmus and SA Rugby’s misconduct hearing, Massotti said: “I would obviously be happy to help.”
#SPOTLIGHT: A legal storm is brewing!
💢 SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus VS World Rugby
🗣️ ‘Let us put World Rugby on trial’@Springboks @lionsofficial #LionsRugby #LionsTour2021 #LionsSA2021 https://t.co/rgqpA0d37N
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) August 4, 2021