IRB suspend Samoan center from all rugbyAUCKLAND, New Zealand - Samoa center Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has been suspended from all rugby after he failed to appear at a judicial hearing in Auckland on yesterday after he criticized Welsh referee Nigel Owens on social networking Web site Twitter.
Fuimaono-Sapolu had labeled Owens “biased” and a “racist” after his side’s 13-5 World Cup Pool D loss to South Africa on Friday and was ordered to appear at a hearing yesterday.
The IRB said the hearing was adjourned when Fuimaono-Sapolu failed to appear.
“The judicial officer determined that due to the players failure to attend the hearing he would adjourn the case to an appropriate time when he would face the charges against him,” the tournament organizers said in a statement.
“Pending the holding of such hearing he ordered that Fuimaono-Sapolu be provisionally suspended from all participation in the game of rugby union.”
The Samoan had previously escaped punishment for an earlier outburst.