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World Rugby Release Statement On Spain V Belgium Referee Controversy

World Rugby have asked for clarification on how the referee controversy in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier between Belgium and Spain was allowed to happen.

Spain’s hopes of automatic qualification for next year’s tournament in Japan ended on Saturday with a surprise 18-10 defeat to the Black Devils, though the choice of match officials was particularly eyebrow-raising.

Romanian Vlad Iordăchescu was at the centre of proceedings, despite Spain reportedly asking for a change given the circumstances – and it was Spain’s defeat that meant that Romania booked their place in the World Cup.

In a brief statement released on social media on Monday morning, World Rugby have stressed that they had no involvement in selecting Iordăchescu as the referee for the fixture, but they would be asking Rugby Europe for the context in he was put in charge given the direct implication the result would have on Romania’s chances of faking the finals at Spain’s expense:

 

 

There were ugly scenes after the final whistle in Brussels as the Spanish players believe the that too many tight calls had gone against them. One or two players attempted to grab the referee at one point, who then had to be escorted off the pitch.

Romania have qualified for the World Cup by topping the group, and despite Spain’s visible anger at the result, their hopes of progression aren’t quite over yet. They will face Portugal in a playoff later this year, with the winner of that clash facing Samoa.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.