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Rugby World Cup 2019: Spain lodge formal complaint after Belgium defeat

Spain players protest to Romanian referee Vlad Iordachescu after the game

The Spanish Rugby Federation has lodged a formal complaint to World Rugby and Rugby Europe after the national team’s controversial defeat by Belgium.

Favourites Spain lost 18-10 in Brussels on Sunday, meaning Romania qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The match was refereed by Romanian Vlad Iordachescu, who was confronted by some of the Spain players after the match.

World Rugby has already said it will be investigating the “context of events” around the result.

While Romania took the automatic European qualifying spot for next year’s tournament in Japan, Spain enter the play-offs.

There they will face Portugal, with the winners meeting Samoa in a two-legged tie for a place at the World Cup.

World Rugby said it “does not appoint match officials for the Rugby Europe Championship” but it is in contact with them “to understand the context of events relating to the Belgium v Spain match”.

Rugby Europe, meanwhile, issued a statement following the match clarifying its procedure for the selection of officials.

“Referees’ appointments for the Rugby Europe Championship have been made ahead of the competition by an independent and neutral skilled committee,” it said.

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