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Bongi Mbonambi cleared to play in World Cup final

Bongi Mbonambi during the Springboks' training session at Stade des Fauvettes in Domont, France on Wednesday.
Bongi Mbonambi during the Springboks' training session at Stade des Fauvettes in Domont, France on Wednesday.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Bongi Mbonambi is off the hook. World Rugby announced early on Thursday its investigation into the allegation that Mbonambi had used a racial slur had come to nothing.

World Rugby's investigation into the allegation by England Flank Tom Curry that Mbonambi directed a racial slur towards him in the Springboks' 16-15 2023 Rugby World Cup semifinal victory against England in Paris on Saturday found there was insufficient evidence to take action.

The decision means Mbonambi is free to play for the Springboks in Saturday's World Cup final against New Zealand at Stade de France (9pm).

World Rugby has undertaken a review of allegations made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language by South Africa’s Mbongeni Mbonambi ... along with a further allegation brought forward in recent days about a previous match in the Autumn Nations Series 2022,” the ruling body said on Thursday morning.

Any allegation of discrimination is taken extremely seriously by World Rugby, warranting a thorough investigation. Having considered all the available evidence, including match footage, audio and evidence from both teams, the governing body has determined that there is insufficient evidence at this time to proceed with charges.

“Therefore, the matter is deemed closed unless additional evidence comes to light.

“It is important to note that World Rugby accepts that Tom Curry made the allegations in good faith and that there is no suggestion the allegation was deliberately false or malicious.

“World Rugby is also concerned by the social media abuse that both players have been subjected to this week. There is no place in rugby or society for discrimination, abuse or hate speech, and World Rugby urges fans to embrace the sport’s values of respect, integrity and solidarity.”

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