Alfonso Feijoo announces his decision to leave office once the open process is concluded after the sanction that leaves the XV del León without a World Cup due to the improper alignment of a player, while the players charge against the management and demand “cleaning”
Earthquake in Spanish rugby. One day after the official announcement of the sanction that leaves Spain out of the World Cup in France next year after achieving classification on the pitch, the president of the Spanish Rugby Federation (FER), Alfonso Feijoo, announced his resignation, effective once the sanctioning process opened by the improper alignment of the South African player Gavin van der Berg is concluded.
“We are responsible, but not guilty. We have been deceived, I never thought that anyone could forge a document. We are going to appeal to World Rugby and then I will present my resignation, ”communicated the president of the FER, self-critical in that way and pointing again to the player’s club, Alcobendas.
From the federation they point to three members of the Madrid team for the falsification of a photocopy of Van der Berg’s passport. They wanted him to comply with the requirement established by World Rugby that requires him to stay 36 months continuously in the country to be considered as a training player, a condition under which he played both with his club and in the corresponding matches between Spain and the Netherlands. to the European Championship, known as Six Nations B, qualifying for the 2023 World Cup in France.
“Self-criticism? I have a responsibility, but I’m leaving without fault,” Feijoo shielded himself, who also reported that the FER will appeal the punishment imposed by World Rugby, of five sanction points for each of the two games in which Van der Berg was lined up, in addition to a fine of 28,000 euros, although without options that it ends up prospering. Spain, which finished second, behind the classic dominant Georgia, had won with that second place a ticket to the World Cup that it has not enjoyed since 1999, the first and until now the only experience in the biggest rugby tournament.
Beyond the consequences for the Spanish team, responsibilities must also be cleared up in terms of national competitions, in which Alcobendas is one of the best teams of the season. “We did not communicate anything before out of respect for the ongoing process. The final of the Copa del Rey and the quarterfinal tie of the División de Honor playoff in which Alcobendas participates have been postponed, ”said the still top leader of Spanish rugby.
For its part, the Madrid club stated that “it immediately removes all those involved from their duties. Opening an internal file to purge possible responsibilities». “From the first moment the club has turned to the FER to collaborate in clarifying the demands made by Romania and the necessary documentation and testimonies have been provided so that the process had the expected outcome and that unfortunately has not occurred, “he added in a statement.
I stumble on the same stone
Meanwhile, the discomfort among the players is absolute, even more so considering that the improper alignment of two French players, Mathieu Bélie and Bastien Fuster, who previously debuted with the French under-20 team, also left the XV del León without participating in the World Cup in Japan 2019.
“We want to express our disgust, anger and distance ourselves from these leaders who have done nothing more than ruin our participation in the World Cup twice in a row,” the Spanish internationals said in a statement. “We feel neglected, unprotected by our federation and we want it to be clear that we do not agree with anything they have said so far. We take the opportunity to announce that these days we are going to write a formal letter to request the resignation and cleaning of the federation, “the players conclude in their harsh message.