Fuimaono-Sapolu charged over Tweets
October 2, 2011
Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is in trouble with the IRB over comments about referee Nigel Owens © Getty Images
Outspoken Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has been hit with a misconduct charge after accusing Welsh referee Nigel Owens of bias.
The Gloucester star criticised Owens for his handling of Samoa's 13-5 defeat to South Africa, which saw the Pacific islanders eliminated from the Rugby World Cup. Fuimaono-Sapolu questioned Owens' neutrality on the basis that Wales stood to benefit from a South Africa victory.
Tournament officials have charged Fuimaono-Sapolu with a "breach...of the World Cup disciplinary programme and for alleged infractions of the...terms of participation". The charge from Rugby World Cup Limited follows a formal warning that was issued to the Samoa Rugby Union in relation to previous Twitter comments from Fuimaono-Sapolu.
The 30-year-old had blasted the International Rugby Board for "unfair treatment" after Samoa were forced to play for the second time in four days. Fuimaono-Sapolu then compared Samoa's treatment to slavery, the holocaust and apartheid.
"The charge follows a previous formal warning issued to the Samoa Rugby Union, regarding social media conduct by the same player during Rugby World Cup 2011," tournament officials confirmed.
Fuimaono-Sapolu's case will be heard by the independent judicial officer Jeff Blackett, from the Rugby Football Union, on a date still to be confirmed.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.