Pablo Matera reinstated as Argentina captain and suspensions lifted after ‘discriminatory and xenophobic’ posts

George Flood
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Pablo Matera has been reinstated as Argentina captain.

The Stade Francais flanker was stripped of the role earlier this week and suspended along with team-mates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino after historic social media posts - sent between 2011 and 2013 - resurfaced that were deemed "discriminatory and xenophobic".

However, while the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) are continuing to conduct a disciplinary process, they have now claimed that those initial measures were not needed.

“The preventive measures are unnecessary so we have resolved to lift the suspension of the three players and reinstate the captaincy to Pablo Matera,” the UAR said in a statement.

“The disciplinary process continues and the commission will arrive at a final resolution in the next few days.”

Expanding on the decision to lift those suspensions and reinstate Matera for what they branded an act of “immaturity”, the UAR offered the trio’s remorse and lack of similar actions in the years since as reasons to overturn their initial punishments.

“The three players expressed their deep regret, reiterated the apology, ratified that it is not what they think and that it was a reckless act typical of immaturity,” the UAR added.

"However, they are fully responsible... at the time of preliminary issuance, the Disciplinary Committee has considered and assessed the attitude of the three players during this process, and understands that they have not repeated similar actions during these more than eight years, and that they have shown during this time to be people with firm and upright values, worthy of being part of our team."

Despite their suspension being overturned, it is understood that none of the trio will feature for Argentina this weekend when Mario Ledesma’s side conclude their Tri Nations campaign against Australia on Saturday.

Perpignan centre Jeronimo de la Fuente is expected to step in as Pumas skipper in Sydney.

Additional reporting by AP.