World Rugby release statement following Spain players confrontation with Romanian referee
Romania qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup after Spain suffered a shock 18-10 loss to Belgium, with ugly scenes marring the end of Sunday’s match.
Spain had looked set to qualify for the first time since 1999, but their defeat in Brussels handed Romania the automatic European qualifying spot.
Spanish players confronted referee Vlad Iordachescu, a Romanian, at the final whistle in their loss to Belgium.
“We weren’t allowed to play,” said Spain coach Santiago Santos.
“The referee kept stopping the game at every moment. Our game was stopped continuously, the Belgians benefited from many more decisions.
“The difference between penalties against us and for us was huge. When we were trying to come back in the game the play kept on being interrupted.”
Statement: While World Rugby does not appoint match officials for the Rugby Europe Championship, it is in contact with Rugby Europe to understand the context of events relating to the Belgium v Spain match in Brussels on Sunday, which doubled as an important RWC 2019 qualifier.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) March 19, 2018
World Rugby has now released a statement, posting on Twitter: “: While World Rugby does not appoint match officials for the Rugby Europe Championship, it is in contact with Rugby Europe to understand the context of events relating to the Belgium v Spain match in Brussels on Sunday, which doubled as an important RWC 2019 qualifier.”
Rugby Europe issued a statement following the match clarifying its procedure for the selection of match officials.
“Referees’ appointments for the Rugby Europe Championship have been made ahead of the competition by an independent and neutral skilled committee,” it said.
“It would be inappropriate to comment on match official performance before the usual full review has been undertaken.”