Tournament organisers have issued misconduct charges against the SRU

Scotland face disciplinary hearing over comments at Rugby World Cup

Comments made by the Scottish Rugby Union’s CEO Mark Dodson in the build-up to their vital match with Japan have landed the Scots in hot water, with Rugby World Cup sending them in front of an Independent Disputes Committee for misconduct.

When their final World Cup pool game against Japan last Sunday was threatened with cancellation due to Typhoon Hagibis, Scotland faced exiting the tournament without playing a decider. The CEO went on Radio 4, saying of World Rugby’s plan to declare any cancelled game a 0-0 draw: “We’re not going to let Scotland be the collateral damage for a decision that was taken in haste.”

Related: A war of words on the eve of Typhoon Hagibis hitting

Dodson later clarified in a press conference that the union had sought legal advice on whether there could be flexibility in the World Cup agreement for re-scheduling a game. He also repeated his view that: “I think in the court of public opinion, we’ve already won. I think you can see from social media, that people feel that this doesn’t feel quite right.”

Scotland face disciplinary hearing over comments at Rugby World Cup

Making his point: Tournament chief Alan Gilpin (Getty Images)

Today, tournament director Alan Gilpin revealed to the media that the SRU’s recent conduct merited scrutiny by an independent panel. He said: “We’ve referred to the independent disputes committee the comments and behaviours of the Scottish Rugby Union. On that basis it’s probably inappropriate to comment any further.”

A later statement from Rugby World Cup read: “Rugby World Cup can confirm that it has issued misconduct charges against the Scottish Rugby Union in relation comments made about Typhoon Hagibis and its potential impact on the Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool A match between Japan versus Scotland.

Related: Inside the vital 24 hours before Japan v Scotland

“The case will be decided by an Independent Disputes Committee and Rugby World Cup will not make any further comment on this matter pending the outcome.”

On Wednesday, the SRU released an official reaction statement in which they said: “Following receipt of correspondence yesterday from World Rugby, Scottish Rugby confirms that it has received a notice of complaint from Rugby World Cup Ltd. Scottish Rugby is querying whether the matter is an appropriate one for the bringing of Misconduct charges.

“If Misconduct proceedings are to proceed, Scottish Rugby looks forward to receiving a fair hearing in this matter. No further comment would be appropriate at this time.”

It is believed a hearing will be held before the World Cup concludes.

Keep track of all the news from Japan via our Rugby World Cup home page.

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