Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Manu Samoa to play Portugal or Germany for Rugby World Cup qualification

Manu Samoa to play Portugal or Germany for Rugby World Cup qualification

As a result, matches against them in the Rugby Europe Championship did not count towards qualification and while some of the games in which ineligible players were fielded were against Georgia, the review committee found enough examples of foul play elsewhere to dock sufficient points for Russian Federation and Germany to advance.

In what was a successful qualifying campaign, Faka'osilea helped Romania top a European qualification tournament in March to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

World Rugby also handed out fines, suspended for five years, totalling 125,000 pounds ($170,000) for Belgium, 100,000 pounds ($135,000) for Romania, and 50,000 pounds ($67,000) for Spain.

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World Rugby said it is "extremely disappointed with the unfortunate and avoidable events" and added: "Regulation 8 covering eligibility is essential to maintaining the unique characteristics and culture of elite competitions between unions, and the integrity of worldwide matches depends on strict adherence to eligibility criteria set out in the regulation". The victor then faces Samoa for a place in the World Cup.

"The principle that "the referee's position as sole judge of fact and law during the match is unassailable" is a core principle of rugby, as is the very limited jurisdiction of a Disciplinary Committee to overturn the decisions of referees made on the pitch after the game", a World Rugby statement read.

But if each of the three sides takes their chances, then they may find themselves competing on the biggest stage of them all, when Japan host the first Rugby World Cup held in Asia.

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Faka'osilea played 13 internationals for his adopted nation Romania since his debut past year.

Spain and Belgium have also been retrospectively penalised for the same reason.

The unions of Spain, Belgium and Romania have a 14-day window in which to appeal against the panel's decision. It was in relation to the outrageous reaction from Spain when they failed to gain direct entry into the tournament, and comes after investigation by the governing bodies Independent Judicial and Disputes committee.

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The European qualifying tournament was thrown into disarray when Spain lost 18-10 to Belgium in its final game, having only needed a win to qualify for Japan. A World Rugby representative answered, stating that the documents have to be sent to them for clarification only if there are uncertainties, otherwise not.

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