The Trinations rugby tournament, which started with a sporting party for Argentina as they beat New Zealand, threatens to end a
devastating internal storm
The Unión Argentina de Rugby, the federation of that country, has decided to temporarily separate three players from the national team, popularly known as the Pumas, for which it also announces sanctions by its Disciplinary Commission.
The sections are Captain Pablo Matera - to whom that condition is withdrawn - and his teammates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino.
And the reason is the "discriminatory and homophobic comments" they posted on social media.
What is striking is that these tweets were spread between 2011 and 2013 without, until now, having had any consequences.
The messages, which the three Pumas have removed from their profiles, are
racist, sexist, xenophobic and discriminatory.
According to the EFE agency, these are supposed jokes made years ago against black people, people of Bolivian and Paraguayan nationality, women, domestic workers, Peronists and, in the case of one of them, against Jews.
In one of the tweets attributed to Matera, the current player of the Stade Francais in France, it reads: "South Africa Baby I'm finally leaving this country full of blacks ... Ouch !!".
"Nice morning to go out in the car to step on blacks," says another.
Matera allegedly made allusion in several of his tweets to his domestic servants, with a humorous zeal, referring to them with the derogatory qualifier "maid."
"The maid has been pretending to clean the television for two hours while looking for a way to plug in the DirecTV cables to watch her novel," a message was written.
His partner Socino is attributed other anti-Semites and against the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.
After they have gone viral
, the three players have publicly apologized
from Australia, where Los Pumas will face the local team next Saturday in the game that closes the Trinations tournament.
"Apologies to all those who were offended by the atrocities I wrote,"
said Matera, who declared himself "very ashamed."
The other two sanctioned players have manifested in the same line.
"Although the messages were expressed between 2011 and 2013 and do not represent the integrity as people that the three showed during this time in Los Pumas, from the Argentine Rugby Union we condemn any expression of hatred and we consider it unacceptable that those who express them represent our country, "says the Federation statement.
In the background, the warm homage to Maradona
The punishment and the viralization of these messages have occurred after the Argentine rugby team was greatly criticized in its country because it limited itself to honoring the footballer Maradona by wearing a black armband when, for example, his rivals last Saturday, the All New Zealand Blacks, before their haka ritual, deposited one of their shirts with the name of the Argentine star on the grass.
Before the tweets scandal broke out, Matera had apologized for the lukewarm tribute to the soccer idol, who died last Wednesday at the age of 60.
"We know that the tribute that we chose to do for Diego this weekend caused pain and disappointment in many people
"Diego was an extremely important person for us, a person who always supported us and accompanied us," he added in a video surrounded by the team, uploaded to the federation's Twitter account, in which he recalled that Maradona "accompanied us throughout the entire World Cup 2015 ".
In addition, for decades in Argentina there has been a perception in part of society that rugby is a sport associated with the upper classes and people far from the Argentine reality.
So both the content of the messages and the fact that the punishment comes in this context have generated
innumerable reactions in the field of oval sport and throughout society
Mario Barandiarán, a member of the staff with which the Pumas achieved third place in the 2007 World Cup and currently sports director of the VRAC Quesos Entrepinares de Valladolid, has been annoyed with the content of his messages, but does not download all the criticism about them.
"I think that the tweets of these boys are truly shameful, but it is true that they were made when they were 18 or 19 years old;
these boys were wrong at an early age
," he said in a telephone conversation with EL MUNDO on Tuesday.
"I do not think the sanction is right now, it is very for the gallery and since the leaders were wrong by not sending information to the players that they had to pay tribute to Maradona and they have been so badly before Argentine society, which is destroying them, they had I have to do something about these boys. If it were at another time, I would say that it would be fine, but it seems to me that it is a sanction that the leaders impose on them because they cannot sanction themselves, which is what corresponded ", Barandiarán has assured.
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