Rugby: De Villiers cleared over TV remarks

Springboks coach Peter de Villiers. Photo / Getty Images
Springboks coach Peter de Villiers. Photo / Getty Images

SYDNEY - South Africa rugby coach Peter de Villiers has been cleared of misconduct relating to comments allegedly criticizing referees and implying a conspiracy to bolster next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

Jannie Lubbe, a Cape Town-based judicial officer for SANZAR, which sanctions international rugby tournaments involving Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, released his ruling Tuesday.

De Villiers' comments on Australian TV on July 21 seemed to imply that Irish referees Alan Lewis and Alain Rolland favored New Zealand in its two Tri-Nations wins over South Africa this year to promote the 2011 World Cup.

Lubbe said de Villiers had not specifically mentioned referees or match fixing and, therefore, had not breached the code of conduct.

- AP

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