Two year ban for homophobic rugby fans

Nigel Owens.
Nigel Owens.

Following the RFU’s investigations into the allegation of homophobic abuse aimed at referee Nigel Owens at the QBE International against New Zealand, two people have received a ban from all matches at Twickenham Stadium for a period of two years.

In addition, they will pay £1,000 each to a charity of Nigel Owens’ choice. There is a second investigation still ongoing.

The ban follows an official complaint made to the Rugby Football Union from Loversall rugby fan Keith Wilson after he heard racist and homophobic comments being made towards the referee.

Mr Wilson was at the England v New Zealand game at Twickenham when the abuse from the stands took place against Nigel Owens.

The semi-retired healthcare consultant, who has been a member of Doncaster Rugby Club for 30 years, where he also used to play, said: “It infuriated me so I thought I’d write to the RFU.”

The RFU said it took matters of abuse seriously and is investigating this matter.

RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said: “While instances of this nature are exceptionally rare, the RFU takes rugby’s values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship very seriously, and is determined to uphold them. We are all guardians of these aspects of the game, on and off the pitch, and it is these values which make the sport special.”

The RFU will continue to underline what is expected of supporters. At international matches the RFU will put messaging in the programme, in every ticket pack, on mid-tier LED boards and big screens throughout match day. This season a new confidential text service (Text HELP to 60886) is available to report any anti-social or discriminatory behaviour at the stadium. There are 850 stewards on hand to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all fans.ndfp