8 Apr 2024

Fijian Drua condemn alleged racist abuse of Lomani by Melbourne fan

7:23 pm on 8 April 2024
Frank Lomani's elbow to the head of Josh Canham.

Frank Lomani's elbow to the head of Josh Canham. Photo: Sky Sport

Fijian Drua have condemned the alleged racist abuse aimed at scrumhalf Frank Lomani by a fan during last weekend's Super Rugby Pacific match against Melbourne Rebels.

The incident came after the Fiji international was shown a red card for elbowing an opponent in the head in the 41-20 loss at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Friday.

Lomani returned to the team bench but immediately stood up and threw his chair aside and turned to the crowd to confront fans that had been abusing him as he walked from the pitch.

Drua coach Mick Byrne confirmed Lomani had been racially abused on Sunday, saying it was a "disgrace" and calling for the fan to be banned from the stadium for life.

"The Fijian Drua are shocked at the alleged racial abuse suffered by one of our players during Friday night's match against the Rebels in Melbourne," the Drua said in a statement on Monday.

"Clearly there is no place for racism of any kind anywhere. We all have a duty to protect players and staff from situations which go against the values of our game."

The club thanked the Rebels for "reaching out with an apology" and confirming that they were investigating the identity of the person or persons at fault.

Super Rugby Pacific were also looking into the incident, they said.

The Drua, who are unbeaten at home this season but have yet to win on the road, host the Wellington Hurricanes in Suva in their next match on 19 April.

Lomani is unlikely to play, however, as he faces a ban after being cited on Monday for "physical abuse" over his sending off offence.

- This story was originally published by Reuters.