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Tue 22 Oct 2019 | 04:22

Fall-out from World Rugby's Peyper faux pas

Fall-out from World Rugby's Peyper faux pas
Tue 22 Oct 2019 | 04:22
Fall-out from World Rugby's Peyper faux pas

WORLD CUP REACTION: Following the decision not to consider Jaco Peyper as a referee the semifinals this weekend for a picture taken with Welsh fans, World Rugby have received some heavy criticism from fans on social media.

The South African referee, who would have been in contention to referee England’s contest with the All Blacks, has been overlooked after taking a photo with fans mimicking Sebastien Vahaamahina’s elbow which saw the lock sent off in Oita.

Fans have said that the photo was in poor judgement by the referee, but only that, and it certainly does not indicate any malice or bias. This was the clearest cut red card perhaps of the RWC so far, as it was simply an act of wanton violence by the ASM Clermont lock against Aaron Wainwright.

This was just a case of a referee interacting with fans, and the aftermath has been an example of “political correctness”, according to fans, as this was no more than a joke.

There is no denying that Peyper should not have done this, but it is hard to see what the photo indicates. Had he made light of the contentious rip by Tomos Williams in the denying minutes of the game that led to Ross Moriarty’s try, then the reaction from World Rugby would be justified, as any referee would get in trouble for joking about such controversial decisions. But the dismissal of the Frenchman was in no way controversial, and fans feel this is an unnecessary overreaction by World Rugby, and the semi-final has been robbed of one of the best referees in the game.

This is what has been said:

Nigel Owens is set to referee the England versus All Blacks match, while Jérôme Garcès takes charge of Wales’ contest with South Africa. This decision has now set a precedent in how referees should interact with fans, and it has not reflected well on World Rugby

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