Investigation on alleged racial abuse on Lomani found claims could not be substantiated

Investigation on alleged racial abuse on Lomani found claims could not be substantiated

By Mosese Raqio
Tuesday 16/04/2024
[Image: Planet Rugby]

An investigation into alleged racial abuse of Swire Shipping Fijian Drua halfback Frank Lomani by a Melbourne Rebels fan has found the claim could not be substantiated.

It was alleged that a Rebels fan racially abused Lomani after he was sent off for elbowing Rebels lock Josh Canham in the head during round 7 of the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific match between the Drua and the Rebels.

Video footage showed that Lomani appeared to react to a member of the crowd.

Super Rugby Pacific competition management, with the assistance of the Rebels and Rugby Australia, opened an investigation following the round seven match in Melbourne earlier this month.

The Drua issued a statement that Lomani was racially abused, with their coach Mick Byrne calling for a life ban for the perpetrator.

However, the tournament officials say a thorough investigation has now been completed into the allegation and based on the evidence available, the allegation of racial abuse could not be substantiated.

They say the competition maintains zero tolerance towards any anti-social behaviour by spectators and, while the competition encourages fans to cheer for their team, it expects that respect should always be shown for others.

The officials say rugby prides itself on the values of respect and integrity and spectators must adhere to these values while attending matches.

They add the competition reminds everyone that strict penalties will be enforced for any behaviour that is likely to intimidate, offend, insult, humiliate or discriminate against any other person on the grounds of their religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin.

Meanwhile, the Drua will host the Hurricanes at 7.05pm this Friday at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva following the Rooster Chicken Fijian Drua Women’s Super Rugby Women semi final clash against the Western Force at 4.35pm at the same venue.

In other SRP matches this week, the Reds will play the Highlanders at 9.35pm Friday, the Blues will host the Brumbies at 7.05pm Saturday and the Force will play the Crusaders at 9.35pm Saturday.

Source: RugbyPass

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