Scotland face probe over ‘disappointing’ World Cup typhoon comments

Tokyo, Oct 15 (AFP/APP): Rugby World Cup organisers said Tuesday that they would refer Scotland’s “disappointing” comments about Typhoon Hagibis to a disputes body, after the Scots threatened legal action if their final pool game was cancelled.

Tournament director Alan Gilpin announced the move to reporters, saying that “under our tournament rules, we are very careful that people behave appropriately”.

“As a result of that, we’ve referred to an independent disputes committee the behaviour and comments of the Scottish Rugby Union,” said Gilpin, announcing it would be “inappropriate” to comment further.

As the typhoon approached, raising doubts about the key Japan v Scotland pool match on Sunday, Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said they might sue organisers if they game did not go ahead.

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Scotland would not become “collateral damage” of the typhoon — which has now killed near to 70 people — said Dodson, adding that fans were “absolutely astounded at this rigidity from World Rugby”.

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

In the end, the match was played and Japan pulled off a famous 28-21 victory which put them through at the head of the pool, and sent Scotland home.

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper slammed some of the comments in the run-up to the decision as “unhelpful and disappointing” and stressed organisers were not influenced by any discussions with member unions.

“We made a call based on the volume of what was in front of us. We were ready for typhoons. There is nothing exceptional about typhoons in this country. But this was an exceptional typhoon that we haven’t had the likes of since the fifties,” said Gosper.

“Please understand, this was an exceptional event that was thrown at this tournament and the tournament has handled it brilliantly.

We knew this was coming but not on that scale,” he said.

Gilpin added: “Ultimately we believed at the time and we know now we made the right decision.”

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