England’s clash against France has become the first ever Rugby World Cup match to be postponed, as the vicious Typhoon has swept across Japan.
World Cup organisers were forced to cancel both the New Zealand vs Italy game in Toyota; as well as England vs France in Yokohama.
Two points are awarded to both teams involved in the cancelled games, consequently meaning Italy are knocked out of competition. The Azzurri needed a win against New Zealand for a chance of qualification to the quarter-finals.
Further matches, such as the all-important showdown between Japan and Scotland on Sunday, are also threatened with cancellation.
Should the game be cancelled, it would lead to a catastrophic result for Scotland. The awarding of two points to each side would see Japan qualify ahead of them, as opposed to a win in the tie – seeing the Scots through.
Rugby World Cup director, Alan Gilbin, addressed the matter stating: “As you can imagine, the decision to cancel these matches has not been taken lightly.”
“The decision has been made in the best interests of the teams, the general public and the volunteers, based on the expert advice we have available.”
He continued: “We’ve been intensively working through a range of contingency options in partnership with the host cities, venues and teams to try and ensure that any impacted matches had a fair chance of being played.”
“However, the risks are just too challenging to enable us to deliver a fair and consistent contingency approach for all teams and participants. And importantly, to provide confidence in the safety of spectators.”
Picture by Warren Lead under Creative Media Commons