Argentina rugby captain Pablo Matera, two other players suspended for 'discriminatory and xenophobic' social media posts

    Matera has been stripped of his role as captain of Argentina's rugby team.

    (CNN)Pablo Matera has been stripped of his role as Argentina's rugby captain and suspended alongside teammates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino for "discriminatory and xenophobic" social media posts dating from between 2011 and 2013, the Argentine Rugby Union (ARU) announced on Monday.

    All three players have featured in the ongoing Tri Nations tournament against New Zealand and Australia, with Matera instrumental in the Pumas' first ever victory over New Zealand last month.
    The decision means the trio will miss Saturday's Test match against Australia.
      "The Argentine Rugby Union strongly repudiates the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Pumas squad on social media," said a statement from the governing body.
      It added: "Although the messages were expressed between 2011 and 2013 and do not represent the integrity as people that they have shown during this time with Los Pumas, from the Argentine Rugby Union we condemn any expression of hatred and we consider it unacceptable that those who express them represent our country."
      The derogatory posts include remarks directed at Bolivian and Paraguayan domestic staff, women, Black people and insults about religion.
      They have surfaced after the Pumas were criticized for not doing enough to pay tribute to Diego Maradona during their match against New Zealand following the death of the Argentine football great last week.
      In a video posted by the Pumas on Twitter, Matera apologized that the team's tribute -- which, according to Argentine newspaper Clarín, amounted to wearing black ribbon on their shirt sleeves -- "caused disappointment."