South African hooker Bongi Mbonambi, whom England's Tom Curry accused of making a racial slur against him in the World Cup semi-final, will not be prosecuted for lack of sufficient evidence, World Rugby announced on Thursday.
"Having considered all available evidence, including match footage, audio recordings and testimonies from both teams, the governing body has determined that there is insufficient evidence at this time to prosecute," World Rugby explained in a statement.
"Accordingly, the matter is considered closed unless further evidence is uncovered," World Rugby's governing body added, acknowledging that "Tom Curry has made allegations in good faith and there is no suggestion that these allegations are deliberately false or malicious".
The England third row had told the press after the Rose's 16-15 defeat by the Springboks in the World Rugby semi-final last weekend that Mbonambi had called him a "white cunt".
About half an hour into the game, Curry reported the incident to New Zealand referee Ben O'Keefe, asking him what he should say. "Nothing, please," O'Keefe told him.
The English Football Union (RFU) said in a statement on Thursday that it was "very disappointed by World Rugby's decision" not to refer the case to an independent disciplinary commission, claiming further that Mbonambi had already used a racial slur against Curry in a match in the autumn of 2022.
"The RFU, alongside the England team, condemns the hateful comments that Tom (Curry) and his family have been the target of on social networks after he had the courage to publicly denounce unacceptable behavior on a rugby pitch as in everyday life," the Federation added.
Crowned world champion in 2019 against Curry's England, Mbonambi, 32, is the only professional hooker in the South African squad since the injury to Malcom Marx, who has been replaced numerically by opener Handré Pollard.
He is due to play in the World Cup final between the Springboks and the All Blacks on Saturday (9:00 pm) at the Stade de France, with both teams seeking a fourth title.