World Rugby clears Mbongeni Mbonambi

World Rugby has determined that there is insufficient evidence at this time to proceed with charges against South African rugby player Mbongeni Mbonambi.

Mbonambi was accused by England’s Tom Curry of using discriminatory language during the England versus South Africa Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final last Saturday.

In addition, a further allegation was 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,” World Rugby said in a statement on Thursday.

The body said it accepts that 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,” it said.

This news comes ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup final where South Africa will take on New Zealand, also known as the All Blacks, at Stade de France in Paris, on Saturday.

The Rugby World Cup final kicks off at 9pm and will be broadcast live on SuperSport and SABC.

Excitement is mounting in the country, with supporters looking forward to watching the historic World Cup final game, which will also be screened at various fan parks.

The City of Cape Town has announced three public viewing areas and the Free State province will have a fan park at the SaamTrek Fan Park - Phakisa Raceway.

“The World Cup this year has been one of the most exciting and unifying sporting events in our nation's history. For the final, the City is pleased to announce three public viewing sites in the CBD, Langa and Mitchells Plain where residents can get together and hopefully watch the Springboks make history by winning the title for a fourth time,” Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said.

Free State MEC for Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Thabo Meeko, called on citizens to back the national rugby team at the SaamTrek Fan Park - Phakisa Raceway.

Entrance will be free. Additional activities and entertainment include a kiddie’s village, biker stunts show, car drifting, music performances, food stalls, and tourism products exhibitions.

Source: South African Government News Agency