World Cup controversy as Spain cry foul over officials

There’s one heck of a storm brewing around the rugby corridors of Europe this week. Spain, needing a win over lower-ranked Belgium to reach their first Rugby World Cup in 20 years, duly lost the match in Brussels 18-10. This meant that Romania qualified automatically in their place, and that Spain must now defeat Portugal, and then Samoa, in order to reach Japan 2019.

The twist? That the three officials for the game were all Romanians – an odd decision at best. With a lopsided penalty count against them however, the final whistle left a furious Spanish side surrounding the referee in ugly scenes, amid cries of foul play. The Spanish Rugby Federation has since launched an official complaint, and World Rugby has said it will be investigating the “context of events” around the result. Watch this space…

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