SRU fined £70,000, told to write ‘meaningful apology’

Mark Dodson

World Rugby has fined the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) £70,000 and ordered the SRU to apologise for comments it made during the Rugby World Cup in relation to the possible cancellation of the Scotland match against Japan in Yokohama due to Typhoon Hagibis. 

World Rugby said the SRU “should issue in writing a meaningful apology to World Rugby and RWCL for its misconduct in terms approved by the committee.”

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson had threatened legal action if the match did not go ahead, saying that the decision “was not just.”

Dodson also suggested that New Zealand might have been treated differently in the same situation.

Scottish Rugby tweeted a response, saying it “received the Independent Disputes Committee ruling from World Rugby this morning.”

The SRU added: “We will now reflect on this outcome and further consider all our options, which may include arbitration.”

A World Rugby independent disputes committee ruled that the comments constituted misconduct, fined the SRU, reprimanded the union and said it should issue a “meaningful apology” to World Rugby. 

“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,” said World Rugby in a statement

“The international federation believed that such comments brought the game into disrepute, not only in relation to World Rugby’s handling of an extraordinary situation, but also in the message that it sent to the Japanese people.”

World Rugby said that it had tried to settle the issue but that SRU refused to issue an apology and instead wanted to agree to a “mutual expression of regret.”

The fine will be donated to the Childfund Pass it Back charity to help with the relief effort in the area affected by the typhoon.