World Cup scheduling compared to slavery, apartheid

The scheduling row that has soured the World Cup took on a new dimension on Tuesday with a Samoan player accusing the International Rugby Board (IRB) of exploitation akin to “slavery” and “apartheid”.

Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono, a centre who plays his club rugby for Gloucester in England used his Twitter account to accuse the sport’s ruling body of “unfair treatment” following Samoa’s 17-10 loss to Wales.

Sapolu Fuimaono pointed out that the clash in Hamilton on Sunday was Samoa’s second game in four days, while Wales had enjoyed a week off beforehand.

He called this exploitation and said Samoa’s treatment was “like slavery, like the holocaust, like apartheid”.

The IRB defended its scheduling and said the Twitter tirade was disappointing.


“We are aware of the comments and find the context of them disappointing,” an IRB spokesperson said.

Other complaints
Samoa team officials are understood to be meeting with the IRB later on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

The Welsh win over Samoa means that they are now in pole position to take the second qualifying position from the tough Pool D behind defending champions South Africa.

Several of the “Tier Two” nations, like Canada, Georgia and Namibia, have also complained about the scheduling and in particular the turnaround times between games, which they say discriminates against them.

The top teams from the Six Nations and Tri-Nations tournaments in general have been accorded more time to recover between matches.

After a rest day on Monday, World Cup action was set to resume with Italy looking for the maximum five points from their clash with new boys Russia in Nelson later on Tuesday.

The Italians collapsed in the second half of their opener against Australia after a promising start and Ireland’s upset win over the Wallabies has made it all the more difficult for them to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.

The week’s matches
France and South Africa both unveiled their teams for their third pool games and the French sprung a mighty surprise by selecting scrumhalf Morgan Parra at flyhalf in the starting XV to take on the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday.

He pulls on the No. 10 shirt instead of Francois Trinh-Duc, who played in the opening wins against Japan and Canada, but who failed to impress coach Marc Lievremont in either game.

“I think that Francois Trinh-Duc, after two matches when he was not at his best, pays the price and on the other hand Morgan [Parra] has been quite effective,” the coach said.

The Springboks handed a recall to winger Bryan Habana in the side to take on Southern African neighbours Namibia in Auckland on Thursday.

He was one of five changes from the side that impressed hugely in a 49-3 win over Fiji in Wellington last Saturday.

Habana, who has recovered from a knee injury, will have another opportunity to claim the all-time Springbok try-scoring record he currently shares with Joost van der Westhuizen on 38 tries.

“Our biggest challenge is to manage our players at the moment,” coach Pieter de Villiers said. “We’ve had two bruising encounters and from those John [Smit] is the only one still standing.” — AFP

View our Rugby World Cup special report for the latest news, features, match reports and multimedia here.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Allan Kelly
Allan Kelly works from Versailles. Sports Editor AFP in Paris Allan Kelly has over 137 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

The South African connection: How mercenaries aided Trump ally in...

The UN found that Trump ally Erik Prince violated the Libyan arms embargo. Here are the South Africans the report says helped him to do so

Q&A Sessions: African court ‘will be a tough job’ — Dumisa...

Lawyer, author and political activist Dumisa Ntsebeza talks to Nicolene de Wee about his appointment as judge of the African Court on Human and...

More top stories

In a bizarre twist VBS liquidators sue KPMG for R863mn

In filed court documents, the VBS liquidators are blaming auditing firm KPMG’s negligence for the alleged looting of the bank

Snip, snip: Mboweni eyes wage bill, other future spending cuts

Last year, the finance minister noted that increased government spending has failed to promote growth over the past decade

Budget: Mboweni pegs recovery hopes on vaccine efficacy, lower public...

The treasury forecasts 3.3% growth, but warns this will fall to 1.6% if the fledgeling vaccination programme fails to stem successive Covid waves

READ IT IN FULL: Mboweni’s 2021 budget speech

Read the finance minister's address on the budget for 2021
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…