We take the same and start again. Qualified for the 2023 World Cup thanks to its second place in the European championship, Spain will not have the opportunity to play in France next year. At issue: the participation in the qualifying matches of Gavin van den Berg, deemed ineligible for the XV del León. The South African-born pillar is said to have presented false papers to be allowed to play.
All the more regrettable since Spain had already seen the 2019 World Cup slip away for a question of ineligible players. The independent committee appointed by World Rugby upheld the complaint made by the Romanian and Portuguese federations by sanctioning Spain with a fine of 30,000 euros and five penalty points for the two matches where the South African was aligned.
“This decision means disqualification from the 2023 World Cup, explains the federation in a press release. This very severe sanction being the consequence of an alleged falsification of the player’s passport, the Spanish Rugby Federation is continuing the extraordinary disciplinary procedure initiated at the time and will soon call a press conference to provide all the explanations requested of us. Tiny hope, but hope nonetheless.