Scottish Rugby fined over World Cup typhoon remarks

Dublin (AFP) –


The Scottish Rugby Union has been formally reprimanded and fined £70,000 ($90,000) over comments made in relation to the threatened cancellation of their pool match with hosts Japan due to Typhoon Hagibis.

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said Scotland would not become "collateral damage" of the typhoon.

He accused governing body World Rugby of "rigidity" and said Scotland were considering legal action if the game did not go ahead.

Scotland were desperate for the game to be played because they would have been eliminated if it had been cancelled and counted as a 0-0 draw.

In the end, Japan's 28-21 victory on October 13 saw them qualify at the top of the pool, while Scotland failed to reach the quarter-finals for only the second time in their history.

Typhoon Hagibis, one of the biggest and most powerful storms Japan has seen in many years, killed more than 80 people.

A statement from World Rugby on Thursday said an independent disputes committee had found comments made by the SRU constituted misconduct.

"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," it said.

"The international federation believed that such comments brought the game into disrepute."

The committee formally reprimanded the SRU, ordered it to write a "meaningful apology" and fined it £70,000.

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 the typhoon.

Scottish Rugby said it had received the ruling, tweeting: "We will now reflect on this outcome and further consider all our options, which may include arbitration."