UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says the racial slur allegation levelled against Springboks hooker Bongi Mbonambi.
” during their semi-final clash at the Rugby World Cup tournament in France on Saturday, 21 October.
South Africa won the match 16-15.
UK PRIME MINISTER SAYS WORLD RUGBY SHOULD INVESTIGATE ‘VERY CAREFULLY’
Weighing in on the allegation, Sunak said World Rubgy – who said on Monday that it was investigating – should look very carefully into the matter.
“It’s rightly an issue that needs to be looked at very carefully by world rugby…we wait the response,” UK publication, The Standard, quoted him as saying.
“World Rugby takes all allegations of discriminatory behaviour extremely seriously,” read a statement.
“We can confirm that we are formally reviewing the allegation made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language during the England versus South Africa Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final on Saturday.”
WHAT BONGI MBONAMBI MAY HAVE SAID
In an audio clip released on Sunday, Curry can be heard via the match’s referee Ben O’Keeffe’s microphone telling him about the allegation.
“Sir, sir, if their hooker calls me a white c**t what do I do?” The New Zealander responded by saying: “Nothing please.” He goes on to add, after a short pause: “I’ll be on it.”
However, Curry’s claims were rubbished by South Africans who argued that what Mbonambi said was lost in translation.
Fans have continuously suggested the hooker may have been speaking Afrikaans and said “wit kant” – which translates to “white side” – indicating the colour England were playing in on the day. Others argued that he could have said “wyd kant” which means “wide side”. The Springboks often speak Afrikaans to hide their strategies and plans from opponents.