Samoa’s Sapolu suspended
4 Oct 2011
The IRB has suspended Samoa centre Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono from all rugby because he failed to appear at a judicial hearing.
Sapolu Fuimaono had labelled Owens ‘a biased and racist prick’ after his side’s 13-5 World Cup Pool D loss to South Africa on Friday and was ordered to appear at a hearing on Tuesday.
‘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 organisers said in a statement.
‘Pending the holding of such hearing he ordered that Sapolu Fuimaono be provisionally suspended from all participation in the game of rugby union.’
Sapolu Fuimaono, in a television interview, appeared on New Zealand 3 on Tuesday and said no one had contacted him personally. He admitted he would not have gone in any case because he did not believe in the justice of the process.
The IRB said all efforts were made to inform Sapolu Fuimao of the hearing.
Repetitive efforts from the Samoan Rugby Union (SRU) to contact Fuimaono Sapolu have failed.
In the television interview the player stood by his tweets and his view that Owens favoured the Springboks.
‘We you are treated like shit (by the IRB). Why can’t I have a crack. With everything that has gone on …. I am pointing out injustice,’ said Sapolu Fuimao who has a degree in Law and Commerce from the University of Auckland.