Spain accuse referee of favouritism in Rugby World Cup qualifier

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However, the Spain-Belgium match ended in scandal as the Spanish players said referee Vlad Iordanescu, a Romanian, favored the Belgian team.

"We have lodged a complaint with the European federation, with a copy sent to the worldwide federation, for the refereeing commission to review the video of the match and judge whether the refereeing was deliberately in favour of Romania", said a statement from the Spanish body.

"When we were assigned the Romanian referees, we were shocked, but this is rugby, values are presupposed".

"Rugby Europe Selection Committee is waiting for the assessment report of the Supervisor for Belgium v Spain Match officials".

World Rugby will contact Rugby Europe to understand the events that took place in Belgium's controversial 18-10 win over Spain on Sunday.

There were ugly scenes after the game which you can see in the video above. The loss saw Romania qualify instead as they finished one log point ahead of Spain.

Spain was in pole position for qualifying after it beat Romania 22-10 in Madrid last month for the first time in six years.

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Spain needed to win their final Rugby Europe Championship game to qualify directly for the 2019 World Cup.

"The difference between penalties against us and for us was huge".

"The persecution of the referee is very unfortunate and, as captain of the team, I want to apologise and say that doesn't correspond to the values of the sport, nor the identity of this team".

The Spanish Rugby Federation (FER) apologised on its website, saying it "regrets the reaction of some players who did not contain their mood at the end of the match".

"In addition, this Committee will meet in Poznan next Friday on the occasion of the Rugby Europe U18 Championships".

"We weren't allowed to play", said Spain coach Santiago Santos.

Failure to beat Samoa would leave Santos' men to be involved in a four-team repechage in November in a last attempt for qualification. "When we were trying to come back in the game the play kept on being interrupted".

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