An accusation has been made that Filo Paulo was subjected to racist abuse from a supporter of Aberavon while playing for Cardiff RFC on Saturday.
The 32-year-old was making his Blue and Blacks debut at the Talbot Athletic Ground, helping Steve Law’s squad out with an injury crisis in the second row, as the side went down 20-18 in the Indigo Group Premiership clash.
It was an eventful afternoon for Paulo who was shown a yellow card for a late tackle on the 54th minute, before being shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle in the closing stages, as Cardiff tried to chase the game.
Then as he was leaving the field he was subjected to racist abuse from the Aberavon crowd, causing an altercation to take place in the tunnel area of the ground. It is believed he was told to ‘go back to Tonga’ amongst other things.
Paulo was born in New Zealand and represents Samoa at international level, winning 37 caps including at the recent Rugby World Cup.
Cardiff Blues number eight Nick Williams, who was at the game, posted in an Instagram story after the event that he “had just got back from an amazing grassroots game, but that towards the end an incident happened and someone in the crowd shouted racist slur towards one of the players of Polynesian descent.
“It shocked me. My kids were there, the player’s kids were there as well. I did not know what to say. In our game in the last year or two there has been an underbelly of racism that we haven’t addressed.
“Let’s stomp it out, there’s no room for that in our wonderful game. Rugby is for all shapes and sizes, all colours, all religions and sex.”
Aberavon RFC were contacted for comment ahead of publication, with chairman Andrew John responding with the following statement, “The issue was dealt with yesterday between myself and the officials of Cardiff RFC after the game.
“As far as we are concerned there will be no further comment and the matter is closed.”