4 Oct 2011

Samoa's Fuimaono suspended from all rugby

11:24 pm on 4 October 2011

Samoa centre Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono has been suspended from all rugby after failing to appear at a judicial hearing after criticising a referee on the social networking site Twitter.

Sapolu Fuimaono called Welsh referee Nigel Owens biased and a racist after his side's 13-5 World Cup loss to South Africa last week and was ordered to appear at the hearing in Auckland on Tuesday.

The International Rugby Board said the hearing was adjourned when the player failed to appear, Reuters reports.

The 30-year-old has been provisionally suspended until he faces the charges.

Sapolu Fuimaono, who plays for English club Gloucester, has said that he had retired from international rugby after Samoa failed to qualify for the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.

Last week, he was reprimanded for comparing Samoa'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 quarterfinal 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.