Scotland fined €80k over 'inappropriate and ill-judged' comments during Typhoon Hagibis

The SRU chief executive questioned the integrity of tournament organisers and claimed unfair treatment before Scotland lost to the hosts.

Image: David Davies

THE SCOTLAND RUGBY Union have been fined £70,000 (€81,000) and ordered to apologise to World Rugby over comments made by CEO Mark Dodson during the Rugby World Cup.

During the tournament’s pool stage, Dodson was exercised by the prospect of Scotland’s final pool game against Japan being cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis – a storm which claimed the lives of over 80 people.

A cancellation of the fixture would have left the game marked a draw, with Scotland losing out on the quarter-finals. Dodson threatened legal action against World Rugby and said the situation would not happen if New Zealand required a win to progress.

The match went ahead, Scotland lost 28-21 to Japan and were subsequently hit with two charges by World Rugby under Regulation 20.2 (misconduct). The first charge, against Dodson for comments made to the Telegraph, BBC and at Scotland’s team announcement was upheld.

“Having considered all the evidence, including submissions by World Rugby and the SRU,” reads a statement from the independent disputes committee, “the committee determined in respect of the first charge that comments attributed to Mark Dodson amounted to misconduct and brought the game into disrepute.

World Rugby strongly believed the comments, which suggested an unfair and disorganised treatment of all teams, to be inappropriate and ill-judged at a time when Japan was preparing for the largest and most destructive typhoon in decades.”

As a result, the SRU have been formally reprimanded, ordered to write ‘a meaningful apology’ to World Rugby and fined £70,000. 

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World Rugby have promised to donate the fine to the charity, Childfund Pass It Back, which they say will be part of the ongoing relief effort in areas struck by Hagibis.

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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