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Rugby Europe issue second statement pulling all activities on 'Russian soil'

By Ian Cameron
Russia's lock Andrey Garbuzov (Photo by Anastasia Osipova/Russian Rugby Union)

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Rugby Europe have taken the decision to suspend all of the organization’s activities on ‘Russian soil’ with immediate effect.

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The move comes after the organization yesterday postponed the Georgia versus Russia fixture in light of the unfolding conflict in Ukraine.

A statement from the body reads: “Rugby Europe condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine and suspends its activities in Russia.”

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“Rugby Europe shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine

“Rugby Europe is deeply concerned about the safety of the rugby community in Ukraine and is closely monitoring the situation.

“As the governing body of European rugby, Rugby Europe is promoting rugby according to the European values of peace, respect and human rights, in the spirit of the Olympic Charter.

“Rugby Europe has decided to immediately suspend the organisation of Rugby Europe events, tournaments and matches on Russian soil until further notice. This concerns any age or gender category, national or club teams.

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“Further decisions will be taken by the Rugby Europe Board of Directors, in agreement with World Rugby; and such decisions will be communicated in due course.”

World Rugby have also condemned the behavior of the Russians, stating this afternoon: “World Rugby strongly condemns the use of military force in the Ukraine and stands in solidarity with all those affected.

“The safety of the rugby family in the Ukraine is paramount and World Rugby continues to closely monitor the situation in partnership with the relevant stakeholders, including Rugby Europe.

“World Rugby fully supports Rugby Europe’s suspension of matches and activities hosted in Russia in line with the IOC position. World Rugby does not have any planned events in Russia.”

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Related

Yesterday Rugby Europe officially canned the biggest fixture in their calendar – Georgia versus Russia, although some fans didn’t feel the move went far enough.

The Russian Rugby Union have not yet commented on the matter.

Yesterday the Georgian Rugby Union’s official Twitter account posted a promotion for the now sacked-off fixture, with the twist that it was written in the Ukrainian language. The post was quickly deleted.

Russia currently sits fourth in the Europe Rugby Championship log, having lost both of their opening games against Spain and Romania.

There has also been a clamour for Russia to suffer 28 – 0 walkover losses in the case of any fixtures missed as a result of the war, although it appears that the fixtures are technically postponed as opposed to cancelled.

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