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RugbyDump
Tuesday Apr 9, 2024

Statement: Individual prosecuted following online abuse towards official

In a statement this morning, World Rugby has welcomed the prosecution of a person who sent abusive messages on social media towards a match official and members of his family during the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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The Television Match Official received threatening and abusive messages via Facebook directed at both himself and his wife. The person in question has since been identified as an Australian citizen, with the case referred to the Australian authorities to pursue legal action.

A statement released by World Rugby read:

‘The perpetrator was subsequently convicted of one count of use carriage service to menace or harass via online communication. World Rugby has also confirmed that it intends to take steps to bar the individual from purchasing tickets for future World Rugby owned events.

‘In addition, World Rugby can confirm that further cases are pending across five jurisdictions as a result of the landmark programme.’

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin also added: “World Rugby welcomes this landmark outcome. The vile and toxic abuse is an all too common occurrence for many sports men and women and public figures, and we hope that this sends a very strong message to online trolls that such behaviour is totally unacceptable and that the sport and the authorities are prepared to take action.

“We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Signify Group to tackle online abuse in our sport. In addition to the support provided to our match officials, the partnership has enabled us to focus on the insights that help us better understand the triggers, tactics and threats and how best to mitigate them.”

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