Romania disqualified from Rugby World Cup, Russia promoted

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The investigation was preceded by a match where Spain played Romania where if Spain lost - Romania - who were then in second place in the table behind Georgia - would qualify.

World Rugby said in a press release that in line with the decision of an independent disputes committee, "Russia will qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 as Europe 1, joining Ireland, Scotland, Japan and the playoff victor in Pool A, while Germany will progress to the European playoff with Portugal, subject to the appeals process".

Russian Federation will join Ireland, Scotland, Japan and the play-off victor in Pool A of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after the independent disputes committee appointed by World Rugby docked Belgium, Romania and Spain points for fielding ineligible players during the controversial Rugby Europe competition.

Spain were docked a total of 40 points by the independent disputes committee while Romania and Belgium were both docked 30 points each in the tournament for fielding ineligible players during the tournament.

"The committee's decision and findings clearly demonstrate issues with the processes adopted by some of the participating unions relating to the eligibility of players as well as the delivery and organisation of the Rugby Europe Championship".

Florin Vlaicu of Romania kicks a penalty during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

In its conclusion to the review, the disputes committee said: "For the detailed reasons set out above: (1) we have not set aside the result of the match on 18 March 2018; and (2) we have found that Belgium, Spain and Romania fielded ineligible players in RWCQ and Rugby European games and determined that each Union should have deducted 5 points for each game in which an ineligible player or players played".

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Romania have been disqualified from the 2019 Rugby World Cup after fielding ineligible players in qualifying.

The victor on aggregate will qualify for Japan 2019 in Pool A, alongside the hosts, Ireland, Scotland and Russian Federation.

The sport's governing body went on to say that "Fans who have purchased tickets for Rugby World Cup 2019 matches involving Romania via official channels will be entitled to a full refund for the face value of the ticket should they not wish to attend".

World Rugby also announced that the rescheduling of Samoa's Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification matches.

The issue came to light when Romania qualified for next year's showpiece event after Belgium claimed victory over Spain in controversial circumstances.

It would have been much better for the game if Rugby Europe had, once the mathematics of the final matches of the competition become clear, changed the match officials.

However, the match was marred by an incident following the match where Iordachescu was harassed by five Spanish players who were banned for their part in the post-match altercation.

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