World Rugby announced that in Pool A of Rugby World Cup 2019, instead of Romania, Russia will qualify. 
 
The other teams which are in Pool A include: Scotland, Ireland, Japan and the play-off winner in Pool A. For which Germany will progress to the European play-off with Portugal, subject to the appeals process.
Russia  qualified for 2019 Rugby World Cup after World Rugby penalised Romania, Spain and Belgium by deducting points as they had fielded ineligible players during qualification matches.

The controversy arose when Romania had qualified as ‘Europe 1’ after having finished on top of Spain in the Rugby Europe Championship. This was after the controversial defeat of Spain against Belgium on the concluding and final weekend of the Rugby Europe competition.

The fielding of ineligible led to complaints being received by World Rugby from various federations, which resulted in a full fledged independent review.
The selected  World Rugby officials statement mentioned:
  • “While the independent disputes committee has determined that mistakes were not made in bad faith by Rugby Europe and some participating unions, World Rugby is extremely disappointed with the unfortunate and avoidable events, as expressed when announcing the convening of the independent committee.”
  • “Regulation 8 covering eligibility is essential to maintaining the unique characteristics and culture of elite competitions between unions, and the integrity of international matches depends on strict adherence to eligibility criteria set out in the regulation.
  • “The committee’s decision and findings clearly demonstrate issues with the processes adopted by some of the participating unions relating to the eligibility of players as well as the delivery and organisation of the Rugby Europe Championship.”
  • “In addition, World Rugby has already formally reminded all unions and regional associations of their obligations regarding Regulation 8 and will reiterate at the Annual Meeting of Council this week, while World Rugby will also oversee match official appointments at all stages of future Rugby World Cup qualifiers.”
World Rugby concluded by stating that the officially purchased tickets of Romanian matches are eligible for full refund for the face value of the ticket should they not wish to attend.
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