Tom Foley, the television match official for this year’s Rugby World Cup final, has announced that he will be stepping away from the international game “for the foreseeable future” due to the “torrent of criticism and abuse online” he has received since the decider between New Zealand and South Africa in October. Foley recommended a red card for All Blacks captain Sam Cane in the first half of the match, which the Springboks went on to win 12-11. According to Foley, the pressure and scrutiny he faced following the final, along with the criticism and abuse he received online, have led him to make this decision. The match referee, Wayne Barnes, who announced his retirement from all officiating after the final, has also expressed concern at the abuse he and his family have received on social media since the match. Meanwhile, former Wales forward Andrew Coombs has revealed that he has been diagnosed with dementia and probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy at the age of 39, while Fiji rugby union international Api Ratuniyarawa faces jail time after admitting to committing a series of sex offences.

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