UEA men’s rugby club in Norwich disbanded following allegations of racism and sexism

The men's rugby club at UEA has been disbanded for a year following serious allegations of racism and sexism.

The club was particularly criticised for its last weekly social event where some members allegedly dressed as Ugandan guerilla group leader Joseph Kony, Baby P, a Ku Klux Klan member and former Wales manager Gary Speed, who hanged himself last year. Complaints were also made about the club at Derby Day 2012 and the Men's 2nd XV game on March 14.

In an open letter to the committee and members of the club, the Union of UEA Students stated: 'Following a large number of complaints made against the Union of UEA Students' Men's Rugby Union Club, the management committee of the union has decided, with regret, to suspend all activity of the club with immediate effect. The suspension of all activity will last until the start of the 2013/14 academic year.

'The club will then be restarted in the 2013/14 academic year with special measures in place to ensure that the new club does not follow the same path as the current club. Complaints against the club included offences of both sexist and racist natures.'

The proposal will not affect general rugby playing on campus, the medics' rugby team, the women's team or touch rugby. The President of the Men's RFC, Andy Driver, told the student newspaper Concrete: 'The club does not condone any of the acts we have received complaints about. However, we will be appealing, because we feel it would be better to further punish individuals rather than punishing the club as a whole. It is some immature, unruly individuals who are putting the club in a bad light. The majority of the club are just guys who enjoy playing rugby.'

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Have you got a story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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