Argentina have stripped Pablo Matera and suspended with two team-mates over ‘xenophobic and discriminatory’ social media posts.
The Argentina Rugby Union (ARU) has issued a statement condemning the sacking of Pablo Matera.
“The Argentine Rugby Union strongly repudiates the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Los Pumas team on social media and meeting as an emergency, the board of directors resolves to, in the first place, revoke the captaincy of Pablo Matera and request the staff to propose a new captain to the board of directors.
“Second, suspend Pablo Matera, Guido Petti and Santiago Socino from the national team until their disciplinary situation is defined.”
On the other hand, Matera has closed his Twitter handle and made Instagram account private after issuing an apology.
“I had a tougher time. I am very ashamed. Apologies to all those who were offended by the atrocities I wrote,” he posted on Instagram.
“At that moment I did not imagine who I was going to become. Today I have to take charge of what I said nine years ago. I’m also sorry to my team and my family for the moment they are going through my actions and thanks to the people who love me for their support.”
The UAR said it had requested that staff propose a new captain to the board of directors, while the players are suspended pending a “disciplinary process”.
Moreover, Flanker Matera won 69 caps and led the Pumas to a famous victory over New Zealand on 14 November.