Spain's players, left, clash with Romania referee Vlad Iordachescu, after the Rugby Europe Championship match between Belgium and Spain at the Little Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

World Rugby looking into controversial referee appointment

March 19, 2018 - 7:49 am

DUBLIN (AP) — World Rugby is looking into the appointment of a Romanian referee for a crucial match between Spain and Belgium that determined whether Romania qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Spain's surprising 18-10 loss in Brussels on Sunday meant Romania advanced to the World Cup through a second-place finish in the Rugby Europe Championship. Spain would have qualified with a win.

The referee for the match, Vlad Iordaschescu, had to be escorted from the field by security after Spain players angrily confronted him. The two assistant referees were also Romanian.

World Rugby, which does not appoint match officials for Rugby Europe Championship qualifiers, says "it is in contact with Rugby Europe to understand the context of events relating to the Belgium v Spain match in Brussels on Sunday."

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