A COMPROMISE agreement to end the stand-off between the SRU and World Rugby over the fall-out from the Typhoon Hagibis affair has been reached.
A short statement issued by the global governing body this [Thursday] morning said –
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.
This appears to be a common sense solution to a bitter and unnecessary spat which occurred when World Rugby took umbrage at the SRU’s decision to go public with their request that Scotland’s crucial World Cup pool clash against Japan last month should be moved rather than cancelled if Typhoon Hagibis rendered the scheduled venue in Yokohama unplayable.
Tournament organisers Rugby World Cup Limited – the wholly owned subsidiary of World Rugby – referred the matter to a World Rugby disputes panel the following week, and the SRU questioned at that time the appropriateness of that course of action.
After three weeks of deliberation, the disputes panel issued its judgement last Thursday, with the SRU being publicly reprimanded, ordered to apologise and slapped with a £70,000 fine.
The SRU immediately indicated that they were unlikely to take these sanctions lying down, and suggested that they were willing to push for the case to be heard by the Court of Arbitration in Sport [CAS] – the Swiss-based quasi-judicial body established to settle disputes related to sport.
The SRU were particularly unhappy that the disputes panel had conflated their desire to have the game go ahead at a different venue with a lack of empathy for the human impact of the typhoon.
It is notable that World Rugby’s statement relates that the SRU have “expressed regret” rather than apologised [they have never denied that it was a regrettable situation to find themselves in], that the SRU have paid a “donation” rather than a fine, and that any mention of the disciplinary process has been dropped from this final statement.