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.
- “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.”