There’s been quite a bit of fall-out from the recent travel problems surrounding a number of United Rugby Championship teams returning from South Africa amid the surge in cases around the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Cardiff, Munster, Scarlets and Zebre had been due to play matches in the country before being forced to arrange emergency travel out of South Africa. Munster have had to leave behind 14 players in isolation, while Cardiff have been twice delayed in leaving the country.
We can confirm that due to restrictions on inbound flights to the UK and the withdrawal of a landing slot, we were unable to take off this morning.
We now plan to depart Cape Town tomorrow morning. Thank you for all of your support.
— Cardiff Rugby (@Cardiff_Rugby) December 2, 2021
Needless to say, the desperation of some players has been evident, with Cardiff full back Matthew Morgan’s emotions boiling over in a Twitter post – which has since been deleted.
It looks like his twitter account has also been disabled or deleted.
Morgan said: “What a shambles [United Rugby Championship] is. Shocking that they dragged us out to South Africa in the first place and can’t even fly us home. And [the Welsh Government] is getting more of a joke day-by-day. Get us the f*** out of here you clowns.”
Don’t care what you think of the situation, this is absolutely not on. Not by a long long way. Shocking they ‘dragged’ you out?? To a country with less than 1/10th of the daily cases? *Before* the new variant was sequenced? For a competition you’re contracted and paid to play in? pic.twitter.com/FPP761vE2i
— A-P Cronjé (@rugby_ap) December 2, 2021
Morgan’s tweet received some backlash, notably from South African journalist AP Cronje along with a significant amount of the rugby community.
Whether justified or not, the heat piled onto Morgan will likely only make the situation even worse than it already is, and it is clear that Morgan was simply venting at the frustration of not being able to return to his family.
This tweet and many of the replies are disgraceful. This man is going through a horrific situation in a foreign country with no help from his own. Have some common decency and let him vent. He has deleted so obviously it was a moment of weakness. Leave the guy alone.
— Kimmi (@K1mCarter) December 2, 2021
Morgan’s Cardiff team-mate – and Wales international winger – Josh Adams also tweeted his frustration about the delay in getting back to the UK, caused for a second time by the fact that fewer flights are being allowed into the country from South Africa
Didn’t want any special treatment just help getting back to the UK so they can start there 10 day quarantine. Bit of a joke now. Surely more could have been done to help. https://t.co/UjABqLNFgt
— Josh Adams (@JoshAdams951) December 2, 2021