3 Oct 2011

Samoa player charged with misconduct

4:22 pm on 3 October 2011

A Samoan Rugby World Cup player is to face a misconduct hearing over a series of messages on the social networking site Twitter.

Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu is accused of breaching Rugby World Cup rules and the International Rugby Board's Code of Conduct by making comments about Welsh referee Nigel Owens.

The midfielder criticised Owens' handling of Samoa's 13-5 loss to the Springboks on Friday, which led to Samoa's elimination from the tournament.

Sapolu harshly criticised the referee, tweeting various obscenities aimed at him and the IRB.

Last week, the player was reprimanded for comparing his team's quick turnaround between games to slavery and the holocaust.

Wales beat Samoa 17-10 on 18 September in what was considered a pivotal encounter in the battle for second place in Pool D which would mean a quarter-final place.

Following the loss, Sapolu launched a tirade on Twitter against the IRB over his team's three-day rest period before the match, compared with the six days that Wales had been allowed.

The date for the misconduct hearing is yet to be set.