She had obtained her qualification on the ground, finishing second in the qualifications for the Europe zone behind Georgia. But Spain were then kicked out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup for twice fielding South African prop Gavin Van den Berg against the Netherlands in the Six Nations B tournament, a World Cup qualifier. . He had not resided in Spain for three years without a break of more than 60 days, a necessary condition to be eligible for the country, according to World Rugby regulations.
An independent legal commission had imposed at the end of April on the Spanish Federation a fine of 25,000 pounds (nearly 30,000 euros) and a deduction of points for its national team, therefore not qualified. The Spanish Rugby Federation has therefore decided to file an appeal with the CAS “in view of what it considers to be an excessive sanction and consecutive to a deception suffered by the FER itself”.
Federation president resigns
On May 26, FER expelled Alcobendas, van den Berg’s club, on the grounds that three members of the club falsified the dates of entry and exit from Spain on the player’s passport so that he could fulfill the criteria of eligibility.
In the wake of Spain’s exclusion, FER president Alfonso Feijoo announced his resignation. Spain had already been eliminated from qualifying for the previous World Cup in 2019 after a contentious match against Belgium, marked by numerous expulsions.
Pending the verdict of its appeal, Romania has been drafted and will appear in Group B with South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and a fifth nation to be determined. Portugal will be able to take part, instead of Romania, in the final qualifying tournament organized in November 2022.