Dodson's remarks scrutinised
SRU could be charged by World Rugby over typhoon remarks
Mark Dodson: called for rescheduling (pic: SNS Group)
The Scottish Rugby Union is facing possible disciplinary action over remarks made by chief executive, Mark Dodson about the potential cancellation of last Sunday’s match against Japan because of Typhoon Hagibis.
Dodson disputed claims that there was no scope for the organisers to reschedule the match and said his union was considering legal action.
“My view is that we are not going to let Scotland be the collateral damage for a decision that was taken in haste,” he said.
The SRU received legal opinion from Nick DeMarco, a QC at a London practice specialising in sports law.
However, World Rugby seems unimpressed and has referred the Scottish Rugby Union to an independent disputes committee.
Alan Gilpin, the tournament director, told a media briefing on Tuesday: “The tournament rules are clear about appropriate behaviour. As a result, we have asked an independent disputes committee to look at the behaviour and comments of the Scottish union. Because of that, it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”
It is understood the SRU may be charged with misconduct through bringing the game into disrepute, though it is not clear what punishment Scotland could face.
However, Scotland could be deducted points from their pool in which they finished third, ensuring their pre-qualification for the 2023 World Cup in France. A fine is considered the most likely sanction.
Gilpin said the three matches that were called off could not be relocated because the typhoon affected such a wide area of Japan.
“Hagibis was not just a typhoon but the most powerful one in Japan for 60 years,” said Gilpin. “It was something exceptional.”
On a more positive note, ticket sales are 99%, one per cent better than England in 2015, record numbers have attended the fan zones social media reach has resulted in 650m video views so far.