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The IRB 2015 Rugby World Cup Scandal in a nutshell

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The IRB 2015 Rugby World Cup Scandal in a nutshell

Postby Cap » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:17 pm

The Rugby World Cup is about bringing together all of the rugby community to celebrate the diversity of the sport and seeing what each country has to offer. Every time this momentous tournament turns up there’s some sort of disquiet for some reason or another, however, the recent anger from Cyprus is very much justified.

Cyprus has a fast developing rugby community and their international side has recently grabbed the world record for most consecutive matches won, a grand total of 18 no less! They have now moved through two divisions very swiftly and came top of their table at the time of determining the European teams to be put through to the qualifiers. So why are they not being allowed to compete? Simply due to bureaucracy.

The IRB say that Cyprus are not part of their fully-fledged members list as they do not meet certain criteria. However, these same criteria were seemingly waivered for Greece and the UAE as well as one of the criteria actually being hit but not in the way they want. This criterion is that of having a league of more than four teams, which Cyprus hit because they had seven. It was then decided that four of these teams did not count as they were based on British Army bases. However, the Cypriots rallied and another local team joined the league before the deadline but apparently this still was not enough.

Now this is unfair, yes we can all see that, but many will take the approach that there is no point crying over spilt milk, they can always wait until the next world cup right? Wrong! Firstly, the economic crisis of Cyprus means that already they are losing funding for tournaments and facilities, this is their chance to prove that rugby is worth keeping. On top of this, there is a wider reaching reason as to why they should not have to wait and that is the integrity of the tournament itself. There are 25 teams vying for qualification this year in Europe, of which two will go through. Cyprus has won against seven of them, lost to one and has not played the rest. It seems only right that, seeing as they have proven they can beat 28% of the pack that they get their chance to have a go at the rest.

Plus what have the IRB got to lose? To reach the RWC the Cypriots must win four qualifying rounds and even then they must then enter the repechage system, and beat their African counterparts and then either an American or Asian winner to be entered into the actual RWC! And let’s be honest if they manage all that, which I think they could well have a shot at considering their current form, then it would be criminal to deny them wouldn’t it? What’s the point of having a world event if one of the teams good enough to compete is ineligible? This situation makes a farce of the RWC and those who enter it through the qualifying system, either give everyone a chance or just don’t bother!

Save the Rugby World Cup from this absurd corruption of its integrity, save the European qualifiers from becoming a farce and allow Cyprus their time to shine before it’s too late.

If you would like to read more about the plight of the plucky Cyprus rugby team then go to: ... y-ask-for/ for a great blog.

And if you agree that to put Cyprus in is the right, honourable and decent thing to do go to: ... qualifying and sign the petition!
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