Argentina star Pablo Matera stripped of captaincy after racist tweets emerge

Argentina rugby star Pablo Matera has been stripped of the captaincy of his country over racist tweets.

Matera, who has also been suspended, posted a number of disgusting messages between 2011 and 2013.

The tweets, which also included discriminatory and xenophobic comments, have since been deleted.

Matera spoke 'running over blacks' with his car, with one saying: “South Africa baby! I'm finally leaving this country full of blacks.”

Matera, who plays his club rugby for Stade Francais, has apologised and said he is "ashamed".

The 27-year-old was due to play Australia in the final Tri-Nations game on Saturday but will now miss out. Guido Petti and Santiago Socino have also been suspended following comments.

Matera said: "I am very ashamed. Sorry to all those who were offended by the barbarities that I wrote.

“At that time I never imagined who I was going to become. Today I have to own what I said nine years ago.

"I apologise also to my family and my team for what they are going through because of my actions and thanks to the people who love me for their support."

"The Argentine Rugby Union strongly repudiates the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Los Pumas squad on social networks," the UAR said in a statement.

"Although the messages were expressed between 2011 and 2013, the Argentine Rugby Union condemns any expression of hatred and we consider it unacceptable that those who express them represent our country."

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