Ettore Griffoni Ivan Nemer has been capped 11 times for Italy.
# Update
Ivan Nemer suspended over Cherif Traore Christmas banana gift
Italy international ‘deeply sorry for what happened’.

IVAN NEMER, THE Benetton rugby prop capped 11 times by Italy, has been suspended by the Italian Rugby Federation until 30 June after black prop Cherif Traore received a rotten banana as a Christmas gift. 

Traore, a 28-year-old Italian international, who was born in Guinea, was given the present during a Secret Santa exchange, a game where individuals buy presents that are then distributed anonymously.

Benetton Rugby said the sanction was imposed on the basis of the investigations into what occurred during a lunch organised by the club’s players on 20 December. 

“The sanction was imposed by the Federal Court, following the request for indictment by the Federal Prosecutor and in compliance with the FIR (Italian Rugby Federation) Justice Regulations and World Rugby Rule 18,” Benetton Rugby said in a statement. 

The Argentine-born player has waived the right to appeal the sentence. He will take part in training courses “specially identified for him”. 

“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 am deeply sorry for what happened, for the stupidity of my gesture, for the displeasure caused to a friend, for having caused damage to my team, my teammates, the country I represent and the game I love,” Nemer said in a statement.  

“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 does not represent me, but at the same time it must make me and make us reflect on how much more needs to be done to change our culture, overcome the most blatant stereotypes, bring us closer to each other even more than is already happening. 

“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 our sport, but the world we live in.”

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