This story was originally appeared on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission
Just weeks after leading Argentina to a historic win over the All Blacks, Argentina captain Pablo Matera has been stripped of the captaincy.
Matera and two other players Guido Petti and Santiago Socino have also been stood down from Saturday’s final Tri Nations clash with the Wallabies, as the Argentina union investigates racist social media posts.
Matera allegedly made the comments between 2011 and 2013 relating to Bolivian and Black people and they have resurfaced on social media.
The Argentina Rugby Union has issued a statement condemning the comments and announcing Matera’s sacking until a disciplinary hearing is held.
“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:
“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.”
Matera earlier apologised.
“I had a tougher time. I am very ashamed. Apologies to all those who were offended by the atrocities I wrote,” Matera said via 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.”