World rugby bosses forced to rearrange 2019 RWC

World Rugby bosses will reorganise the 2019 Rugby World Cup schedule over the next
month after Japan made the surprising move to scrap plans for a new national
stadium because of the cost.

World Rugby (formerly the IRB) announced earlier this year that the final would
be held at the new stadium but were shocked to learn earlier this month that
the stadium would not be built.

World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset told AFP on Friday that the world body
could press for financial compensation but that for the moment there is no question
of moving the tournament from Japan.

“We have given ourselves one month to get out of this situation. We must
not delay, not have any doubts,” Lapasset said on the sidelines of International
Olympic Committee meetings in Kuala Lumpur.

“We must have something ready in a month,” he added.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shocked World Rugby this month when he scrapped
plans for a national stadium for the 2020 Olympics.

Abe said the $2 billion cost of the stadium was too high and a new design should
be found. The new stadium will not be ready for 2019.

“We need to know now how we are going to reorganise all of the competition
so that there is a balance of different matches in the different stadiums,”
Lapasset said.

“We know the stadiums exist. There is the Yokohama stadium which staged
the 2002 World Cup final. There will have to be a balancing of the number of
matches held there.”

Lapasset said the sale of tickets was a more “sensitive” topic because
the stadium capacity is not the same.

“We have requested a precise analysis and we are considering (seeking)
financial compensation if the losses are quite heavy,” said the rugby chief.

He said there would be between 15,000 and 20,000 fewer tickets for each match
that cannot be held at the proposed new Tokyo stadium.

“So there are financial implications for us,” he said.

Lapasset said the Japanese federation was also angry at the stadium change
and had apologised.

“At Word Rugby it is a bit complicated. There are a few federations who
push to say, ‘if it does not go well we still have four years for a change’.
But we are not at that stage,” he said.

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