Berliner Tageblatt - URC demand 'full report' on Treviso player's racist banana gift

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URC demand 'full report' on Treviso player's racist banana gift
URC demand 'full report' on Treviso player's racist banana gift / Photo: © AFP/File

URC demand 'full report' on Treviso player's racist banana gift

The United Rugby Championship (URC) announced on Thursday it had asked Treviso to provide a report on the "abhorrent" racism suffered by Treviso's Cherif Traore after the Italy prop received a rotten banana as a Christmas gift this week.

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The 28-year-old, born in Guinea was given the present on Tuesday during a Secret Santa exchange with his club, a game where individuals buy presents that are then distributed anonymously among a group of people.

Treviso, backed by clothing company Benetton, face fellow Italians Zebre Parma in the URC this weekend.

"The United Rugby Championship has been in communication with Benetton Rugby regarding the incident first identified in a social media post of Cherif Traore the Italian international prop forward," said the league which includes sides from Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Wales as well as Italy.

"Benetton Rugby has been asked to provide a full report on what has occurred and what meaningful action will be taken as a result.

"Racism and discrimination of any kind are abhorrent, completely unacceptable in society and are utterly counter to the values of the sport of rugby and the United Rugby Championship," it added.

Earlier on Tuesday, England prop Ellis Genge, who captained his country in the summer of 2021, slammed the incident with the Six Nations tournament running a 'Rugby Against Racism' campaign for the past two years.

"No well done, absolutely right, "gifting" a "team mate" a rotten banana for secret Santa is not a big deal and a simple apology will suffice!," he tweeted.

"If there is no further action on this from Benetton then everything we've done for "rugby against racism" has been a tick box for most."

In an initial statement, Treviso, said it condemned all forms of racism and discrimination.

It later said the whole team had been called to a meeting with top executives, who repeated their condemnation of racism, and all the players apologised to Traore.

J.Fankhauser--BTB