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Three Argentina players suspended over "xenophobic" social media comments

:Headline: Three Argentina players suspended over 'xenophobic' social media comments:
The flanker has also been stripped of the Pumas captaincy.
Sports Mole

Argentine Rugby Union has suspended captain Pablo Matera and two other members of the national team over "discriminatory and xenophobic" comments published by the players on social media.

Matera, along with Guido Petti and Santiago Socino, have been stood down immediately over the historic posts, which date back to 2011 and 2012.

The flanker has also been stripped of the captaincy. The announcement comes just days before the Pumas' Tri Nations finale against Australia on Saturday.

Argentine Rugby Union said in a statement: "The Argentine Rugby Union strongly condemns the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Los Pumas team on social networks and, meeting urgently, the Board of Directors resolves: In the first place, revoke the captaincy of Pablo Matera and request the staff to propose a new captain to the Board of Directors.

"Second, suspend Pablo Matera, Guido Petti and Santiago Socino from the national team until their disciplinary situation is defined.

"Third, initiate a disciplinary process for the three mentioned players, in charge of the Disciplinary Commission of the Argentine Rugby Union.

"Although the messages were expressed between 2011 and 2013 and do not represent the integrity as people that the three showed during this time in Los Pumas, from the Argentine Rugby Union we condemn any expression of hatred and consider it unacceptable that those who express them represent our country."

“At that moment I did not imagine who I was going to become. Today I have to take charge of what I said 9 years ago”
- Pablo Matera

Matera deleted his Twitter account in the wake of the announcement, however he did post an apology on Instagram.

He wrote: "I had a tougher time. I am very ashamed. Apologies to all those who were offended by the atrocities I wrote.

"At that moment I did not imagine who I was going to become. Today I have to take charge of what I said 9 years ago.

"I'm also sorry to my team and my family for the moment they are going through my actions and thanks to the people who love me for their support."

Matera has led the Pumas since 2018, recently guiding them to a maiden win over New Zealand.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City19125236132341
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2010553024635
5Liverpool1997337221534
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
7Everton1710252821732
8Arsenal209382620630
9Aston Villa1792631181329
10Chelsea1985633231029
11Southampton198562724329
12Leeds UnitedLeeds198293235-326
13Crystal Palace206592436-1223
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Burnley185491022-1219
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2054111934-1519
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
18Fulham1826101527-1212
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2025131548-3311
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225
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