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Rugby player calls opponent ‘f**king faggot’ during match

Nick Duffy January 15, 2018
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Mathieu Bastareaud (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Mathieu Bastareaud (David Rogers/Getty)

A rugby player could be facing a ban after calling an opponent a ‘f**king faggot’ during a match.

Mathieu Bastareaud, a French rugby union centre who plays for Toulon, came under fire during Sunday’s European Champions Cup match against Benetton.

The incident occurred in the last minute of the match, during a confrontation with the opposing team flanker Sebastian Negri.

Bastareaud hurled homophobic abuse at Negri, referring to him as a “f**king faggot”.

After he was criticised for the remark, the player took to Twitter to apologise – while he attempted to blame Negri.

France’s outside centre Mathieu Bastareaud (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

He said: “Good evening everybody, I want to apologize for my reactions to the insults from the Italian player.

“I reacted badly in responding to his provocation, I am sincerely sorry for the people I hurt.”

The European Professional Club Rugby said: “EPCR has received a citing complaint against the RC Toulon player, Mathieu Bastareaud (No 13), following his club’s Champions Cup, Round 5 match against Benetton Rugby at Stade Felix Mayol.

“Bastareaud is alleged to have verbally abused a Benetton Rugby player in the 80th minute of the match in contravention of Law 9.12.

“Details of the independent Disciplinary Hearing and any other disciplinary matters arising from Round 5 of EPCR’s competitions will be announced as soon as practicable.”

Mathieu Bastareaud of Toulon (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The ECPR added: “As of now, the citing commissioner is considering the incident as part of his routine review of the match, and will make a decision when he has concluded his enquiries.”

The comments had been roundly condemned by other players.

Former England player Andy Good said: “Disgusting from Mathieu Bastareaud. No place in the game for homophobia, @ChampionsCup should throw the book at him.

“Absolutely disgusting and no place for it anywhere. I hope @ChampionsCup make an example of @BastaOfficiel and ban him for a long time.”

The player has a chequered past.

Mathieu Bastareaud of Toulon (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

He notoriously made the headlines during the 2009 French tour to New Zealand and Australia, when he claimed he sustained injuries during an assault.

Bastareaud claimed to have been assaulted from behind by “four or five men” as he was returning from a night out.

However, New Zealand Police investigating the incident found camera footage confirming that he had returned to the hotel uninjured.

The player later admitted that he had fabricated the story to conceal the fact that he sustained the injuries after tripping over a table in his hotel room.

The surreal incident sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries – which led to the French Prime Minister François Fillon issuing an apology to all of New Zealand.

A gay rugby player recently invited homophobic internet trolls to come and repeat their abuse to his face.

Mathieu Bastareaud of France (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Gareth Thomas, who came out in 2009, issued the challenge to football fans who posted abuse about Brighton and Hove Albion, while following the club for a documentary.

Thomas issued an invitation to members of a Crystal Palace message board, after threatening homophobic comments were posted online.

The player offered an on-camera meeting to the trolls while filming documentary Alfie v Homophobia: Hate In The Beautiful Game, which looks at homophobia in the sport.

The player also witnessed homophobic chants and gestures by Leeds United fans at a match against Brighton.

Thomas said: “The most surprising thing out of everything is the acceptance of the level of abuse – the normality that abuse has been given. I find that unacceptable.

“It’s a human right that we are allowed to be who we want to be – but within this game if you’re not the stereotypical male or female we expect you to be then we’re allowed to abuse you for 90 minutes.

“I would give my right arm to sit down in a room with one of these people, just to understand their views.”

In the documentary, Thomas opens up about his “years of torment” he’d been through before he announced he was gay, having to hide who he really was from the rest of the world.

But he says he was pleasantly surprised by the reaction to the news by those around him.

He said: “It took my team-mates, my friends, my family, probably 30 seconds of contemplation to be able to say ‘it doesn’t matter’. And to me, all of a sudden, life was completely different.”

Related topics: Anti-gay, Europe, faggot, France, homophobic, LGBT, Rugby

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