Rugby-Samoan launches Twitter tirade over World Cup turnarounds


Mon, 19 Sep 13:34:00 2011

Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has launched a Twitter tirade against the International Rugby Board (IRB) after his team had a four-day turnaround only before Sunday's World Cup clash against Wales.

The Welsh had a week between their first two matches at the tournament and beat the Samoans 17-10 in what was considered a pivotal encounter in the battle for second place in Pool D which would mean a quarter-final place.

"How do we stop the injustice of being treated differently from Wales and the rich? Eh #IRB ? Tell us!!!," read a post on Fuimaono-Sapolu's Twitter page (!/Eliota_Sapolu).

"#IRB, Stop exploiting my people. Please, all we ask, is fairness. If they get a week, give us a week. Simple. #equity #justice.

"Give Wales 3 days off and give Samoa a week! We would kill them!"

Fuimaono-Sapolu, who came on as a replacement in the game in Hamilton, could face sanctions if his comments are found to be in breach of the IRB guidelines on the use of social media at the tournament.

"It's odd sanctioning someone for pointing out injustice. God would hold me in contempt if I didn't. whatever they do, I'm not fussed," Fuimaono-Sapolu added in a later post.

A Samoa spokesman, who confirmed that it was Fuimaono-Sapolu's Twitter page, said the team would be holding a management meeting on Tuesday to discuss the outburst and that the players had been made aware of the IRB guidelines.

Canada coach Kieran Crowley and Scotland coach Andy Robinson have both criticised the discrepancy in turnaround times at the tournament in more temperate terms.

The tournament derives a majority of its revenue from television rights, which causes some problems for scheduling.

Either all the matches would have to be played at the weekends, which would extend the tournament beyond its current seven weeks, or the major nations would have to play in midweek, which would be unacceptable to the television companies.

Another solution would be to reduce the tournament to 16 teams, which would mean fewer places for the weaker nations.

(For the sports blog Left Field go to:

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