Manu Samoa to face Germany or Portugal in World Cup playoff

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Tuesday's announcement is not the only controversy to surround the Championship, after five Spain players were banned for a combined total of 121 weeks for their furious reaction to Romanian referee Vlad Iordachescu's handling of their crucial clash with Belgium.

The points deduction set forth in today's ruling means that as well as Russian Federation going into a World Cup pool alongside tournament hosts Japan, Ireland and Scotland, it also means that Spain will no longer take part in a play-off match with Portugal.

Russian Federation have qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup after Romania, Spain and Belgium were docked points for repeatedly using ineligible players during the qualifying competition, World Rugby said on Tuesday.

World Rugby had originally meant to make Spain and Belgium replay that match - which was refereed by Romanian Vlad Iordachescu - but following counter-claims of eligibility infractions, commissioned an independent disputes committee to look into the matter.

As such, Spain were deducted 40 points, while Belgium and Romania were both docked 30 points.

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This year's Rugby Europe Championship was won by Georgia, who had already secured their place at the finals in Japan due to their third-place finish in the Pool phase of the 2015 tournament.

Romania had only one ineligible player, Sione Faka'osilea, who previously played for Tonga Sevens.

They are scheduled to play Japan in the tournament's opening match on September 20 next year at the Tokyo Stadium.

"However, the invitation to overturn a result because of the "appearance of bias" or because of the unsatisfactory way that Rugby Europe dealt with the proper request made by Spain to remove the match officials, is in our judgment not sufficient".

"The FER, which has 14 days to appeal, is very disappointed with the resolution and is studying whether to, with lawyers to determine and prepare the grounds for an appeal", an FER statement read.

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In reference to the entire investigation, the committee added: "Although mistakes were made by Rugby Europe and participating unions, they had not acted in bad faith".

World Rugby said it will oversee the appointments of all future match officials in Rugby World Cup qualifiers. "The committee also recommended that World Rugby re-emphasise the importance and sanctity of Regulation 8 (eligibility) and any other steps that will prevent a repeat of these circumstances".

Eligibility for worldwide rugby is a notoriously complicated affair, with countries often nominating their own choice of "capture" level team that ensures a player can not then switch nationalities.

A probe by the world governing body's independent disputes committee then found that all three teams had players who were not allowed.

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