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Rugby Europe explain confusing situation after Belgium government stepped in to stop national team leaving country

By Ian Cameron
Portugal's and Belgiums players compete during the Rugby Europe Championship match between Portugal and Belgium at the University stadium in Lisbon, Portugal on February 1, 2020. (Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Romania have been awarded a bonus-point victory over Belgium, who are unable to fulfill their postponed 2020 Rugby Europe Championship fixture this weekend coming.


Belgium’s national rugby team were set to travel to contest the already delayed fixture at Ion Oblemenco stadium in Craiova in Romania this Sunday, February 7th. The Belgium National Authorities however did not permit the Belgium Men’s XV National team to travel for the game.

Now the board of Rugby Europe have taken the decision on the remaining games of the Rugby Europe Championship 2020 including the now-abandoned Romania and Belgium game.

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Wilkinson and Townsend on their Calcutta Cup memories:

Rugby Europe explain: “Belgium forfeit the game. Belgium will receive zero points, with Romania awarded 5 points with a score of 28-0.

“The play-off match between the lowest-ranked team in the REC2020, which has now been confirmed as Belgium, and the Netherlands must be played before June 13th 2021.”

The decision means that Belgium will now have to play their 2020 relegation/promotion play-off with the Netherlands before June 13th, 2021, after which the winner will compete in the 2021 one competition, which confusingly, could well have started given that the first round is scheduled for the weekend of  March 6/7th.

“If, for any reason, a team is unable to play, travel or host any of the remaining fixtures of REC2020 or the Play-off game, it will be forfeited.


“The core principles of the REC 2021 calendar, voted by the Board of Directors in December does not change. The first round of 2021 matches will be played on the weekend of March 6th /7th and the REC 2021 will continue through March and July international windows.

“The winner of the Play-off will play all their REC2021 matches during the 2021 July and November international windows, which will mark the conclusion of REC2021.

“The full schedule of the REC 2021 will be announced at the conclusion of the 2020 Rugby Europe Championship.”

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Rugby Europe explain confusing situation after Belgium government stepped in to stop national team leaving country