The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has launched an investigation into the homophobic and racial abuse allegedly received by gay referee Nigel Owens at a recent match.
According to a complaint from a supporter, Owens – the first gay man to referee at the highest level in the sport – was subject to derogatory comments from angry fans in the stands during England's match against New Zealand at Twickenham on November 8. Read more here
"The RFU will take this seriously and deal with it," 43-year-old Owens told BBC Radio Wales
. "It's important to stop this from getting a bigger problem in the game."
"As a referee it's not nice to have stuff like this getting back to me, and if I was telling you it doesn't get me down or doesn't affect me, I'd be lying because it does," the Welshman added.
Following the incident, the RFU has released a statement insisting that it will not accept any form of discrimination in the sport - see below.
“The RFU condemns all forms of discrimination and aims to ensure that all people, irrespective of their age, gender, ability, race, religion, ethnic origin, creed, colour, nationality, social status or sexual orientation, have a genuine and equal opportunity to enjoy rugby union in whatever form, on or off the pitch, at all levels and in all roles. We take any allegations of any abuse very seriously and are investigating this matter.”