The pylon: “Racism has not and will never have any role in my life, I regret what happened and the stupidity of my gesture”
Ivan Nemer, prop for Benetton Rugby, 11 caps with the National Team, was disqualified until June 30, 2023. The player gave teammate Cherif Traorè a rotten banana. Federugby made it known. “The sanction was imposed by the Federal Court, following the request for indictment by the Federal Prosecutor and in compliance with the Fir Justice Regulations and World Rugby Rule 18, on the basis of the investigations carried out in relation to what occurred on the occasion of a private lunch organized by Benetton Rugby athletes on December 20 and publicly announced via social media by Ivan Nemer’s teammate, Cherif Traorè, and to the subsequent request for a plea deal”.
“In defining the sanction, the Federal Court, in accepting the request for a plea deal, took into consideration Nemer’s desire to shed full clarity on what happened, the regret represented towards his partner, the recognition of the indignity caused by his behavior to the image of the Benetton Rugby franchise, of Italian rugby and of the Game in general, as well as the exemplary behavior always maintained by the athlete on and off the pitch during his career. The player has renounced the right to appeal the sentence”.
“Racism has not and will never have any role in my life, just as it shouldn’t have in the life of any of us. I deeply regret what has happened, the stupidity of my gesture, the displeasure caused to a friend, by having caused damage to my team, my teammates, the country I represent and the game I love.” These are Nemer’s words after the disqualification. “I come from a multicultural country like Argentina, where cultures have been mixing for over a century, and I’ve always shared the locker room and the field with teammates and friends from all over the world. What happened doesn’t represent me, but at the time himself must make me and make us reflect on how much more needs to be done to change our culture, overcome the most vulgar stereotypes, bring us closer to each other even more than is already happening”, explained the pylon.
“I accept the disqualification and the reintegration process with serenity but above all I trust, in the months and years to come, that I will be able to contribute with my testimony to making more and more young rugby players aware of issues that must be addressed and understood to improve not only the our sport, but the world we live in,” concluded Nemer.