March 24, 2023

A player from the Treviso club has been suspended until the end of the season by the Italian Rugby Federation for having offered a banana to a player of Guinean origin during the Christmas holidays.

A shameful gesture. And which earned him a very heavy penalty. Italy international Ivan Nemer has been banned until the end of the season by the Italian Rugby Federation for his racist ‘gift’ to Guinean-born team-mate Cherif Traore. Just before the end of the year celebrations, the players of the Treviso club had gathered to celebrate Christmas and offer gifts anonymously. On this occasion, Cherif Traoré, also an Italian international, had the unpleasant surprise of discovering a wrapped rotten banana.

“Not only is the gesture shocking, but what hurt me the most was seeing most of my teammates in attendance laughing. As if everything was normal,” the player lamented on his Instagram account on December 21. “I’m used, or rather I had to get used to putting on a good face every time I heard racist jokes (…) but what happened yesterday was different,” he added.

The XV of France will put their title back into play.

While the club had strongly condemned this gesture and ensured that the players had apologized, an investigation revealed that Ivan Nemer was at the origin of this “gift”. “Racism has never played and never will play any role in my life, just as it should play no role in the life of any of us (…) I come from a multicultural country like Argentina, where cultures have been mixing for more than a century”, defended Ivan Nemer, who did not appeal his sanction.

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