World Rugby has announced that their investigation into the allegations of a racial slur made against Bongi Mbonambi has found insufficient evidence to take action.
The investigation was launched after England Flank Tom Curry accused Mbonambi of directing a racial slur towards him during the 2023 Rugby World Cup semifinal between South Africa and England.
The decision means that Mbonambi is now free to play for the Springboks in the World Cup final against New Zealand. World Rugby released a statement on Thursday morning, stating that they had reviewed the allegations made by Curry and had also considered another allegation from a previous match in the Autumn Nations Series 2022.
World Rugby takes any allegation of discrimination very seriously and conducts a thorough investigation, including reviewing match footage, audio, and evidence from both teams.
However, based on the available evidence, including the lack of corroborating evidence, the governing body has determined that there is insufficient evidence at this time to proceed with charges against Mbonambi.
It is important to note that World Rugby acknowledges Curry’s good faith in making the allegations and there is no suggestion that the accusation was deliberately false or malicious. The ruling body also expressed concern over the social media abuse that both players have faced in the aftermath of the allegations.
World Rugby emphasizes that there is no place for discrimination, abuse, or hate speech in rugby or society, and urges fans to uphold the sport’s values of respect, integrity, and solidarity.