Romania take their place in Ireland's World Cup pool after Spain loss

A brawl broke out following the World Cup Qualifier between Belgium and Spain in Brussels

A brawl broke out following the World Cup Qualifier between Belgium and Spain in Brussels

On Sunday, Romania had to stand idly by and rely on Belgium to beat heavy favourites Spain for a place in the World Cup and a spot in pool A.

Spain's rugby federation said it had warned the referee commission of governing body Rugby Europe about appointing Iordachescu to the game.

Irate Spanish players surrounded the referee at the final whistle, and both the Spanish coach Santiago Santos and Spanish Rugby Federation president Alfonso Feijoo were pointed in criticising Iordachescu's performance afterwards.

World Rugby has sought clarification from its European counterparts over Sunday's controversial match between Belgium and Spain, which sparked furious debate about the impartiality of officiating.

Spain failed to secure automatic qualification for the 2019 rugby World Cup on Sunday, losing to Belgium 18-10 with their players rounding on the Romanian referee who had to be escorted off the pitch.

Rugby Europe said it will wait for a supervisor's report on the match before taking any further action.

The intrigue surrounding Spain's failure to automatically qualify for the Rugby World Cup is deepening, as an article written over two weeks ago suggested that Samoan Rugby knew they'd be facing Spain and not Romania in the playoff. Defeat, however, sent them into a repechage play-off, with Romania qualifying instead.

Spanish back Brad Linklater pointed to the "Belgian aggression and irregular tackling that went unpunished" by the man in the middle who was appointed by Rugby Europe.

Controversially, Vlad Iordachescu - from Romania, who qualified at Spain's expense - was in charge of the clash and appeared to make a series of contentious decisions in Belgium's favour.

"We weren't allowed to play, the referee kept stopping the game at every moment", he said.

However, on the team's return to Spain on Monday, Spain captain Jaime Nava apologised for his side's aggressive reaction towards the official at full-time.

"While we appreciate that this is a subject of high-emotion, it would be inappropriate to comment on match official performance before the usual full review has been undertaken".

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