The Scottish Rugby Union’s World Cup row with World Rugby is over a week after the global governing body fined the Scots £70,000 and told them to write a meaningful apology.
That punishment arose from comments made by SRU chief Mark Dodson in the UK Telegraph newspaper, the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, and at the Scotland team announcement on October 11 in which he suggested the SRU would sue World Rugby.
He also criticised the running of the World Cup in Japan prior to the disruption of the tournament by Typhoon Hagibis.
A statement released on Thursday morning read: “World Rugby can confirm that the Scottish Rugby Union has expressed its regret and has confirmed it will not challenge World Rugby further on this matter.
“The Scottish Rugby Union has agreed to pay a donation of £70,000 to World Rugby and the matter is now closed. There will be no further comment from either party.”
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Dodson had hit out at World Rugby’s plans to cancel Scotland’s final Pool A clash with Japan if Typhoon Hagibis had left the Yokohama Stadium unsafe for action. World Cup organisers eventually managed to stage the match on schedule with Japan defeating the Scots 28-21 to reach the quarter-finals.
Two charges were brought by World Rugby (under Rugby World Cup Limited) in line with the Rugby World Cup 2019 terms of participation and World Rugby Regulation 20.2 (misconduct and code of conduct).
Last week’s hard-hitting statement had read: “World Rugby strongly believed the comments, which suggested an unfair and disorganised treatment of all teams, to be inappropriate and ill-judged at a time when Japan was preparing for the largest and most destructive typhoon in decades.
"The Scottish Rugby Union has agreed to pay a donation of £70,000 to World Rugby and the matter is now closed. There will be no further comment from either party."
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) November 14, 2019
“The international federation believed that such comments brought the game into disrepute, not only in relation to World Rugby’s handling of an extraordinary situation but also in the message that it sent to the Japanese people.
“Having considered all the evidence, including submissions by World Rugby and the SRU, the committee determined in respect of the first charge that comments attributed to Mark Dodson amounted to misconduct and brought the game into disrepute.
“In respect of the second charge, the available evidence was insufficient for the committee to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities as to the source of the offending remarks and therefore it dismissed the charge.”
The SRU have been very naughty boys. https://t.co/vxgSUvM8hz
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 7, 2019
World Rugby said that the SRU were formally reprimanded for its conduct and had been fined £70,000. Furthermore, World Rugby told the SRU to “issue in writing a meaningful apology to World Rugby and RWCL for its misconduct in terms approved by the committee”.
The committee also noted that the fine will be donated to the Childfund Pass it Back programme on World Rugby’s instruction, assisting with the ongoing relief effort in areas affected by Typhoon Hagibis.
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