The refereeing of the match between France and South Africa, in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, caused a sensation. On Saturday, the President of the French Rugby Federation, Florian Grill, spoke about a “report” sent to the World Rugby Organization on this subject. More than a report, the French Federation sent questions to the president of the world referees to obtain elements of clarification.
Did the Blues advance after their exit in the World Cup quarter-finals, last October 15, against South Africa (28-29)? This is what Florian Grill suggested on Saturday. The president of the French Rugby Federation spoke, through the microphone of RMC Sport, about a report sent to World Rugby after the match. “Of course there are observations to be made about this match, explains the president of the French Rugby Federation. There are always observations to be made about the match. Of course, we submitted a report regarding the refereeing. It is not a protest, because the match is not going to be replayed anyway.”
The comments were quickly addressed after a week of controversy over New Zealand referee Ben O’Keefe, and while World Rugby’s supervisors were to acknowledge five major officiating errors during the France-South Africa match. The FFR retracted this Sunday, saying it regretted that Florian Grill’s words had been “misinterpreted”. Therefore, there is no room to address the points raised in this report.
A common practice, according to World Rugby
And since there was a report, there really was a report. Or rather, questions formulated by former international referee Jerome Garcés, now a member of the Blues staff, addressed to the head of world referees, Joel Gottje. According to the international body, this is a common practice.
Each team has the opportunity to submit questions to the judging panel before or after the match. Before a match, to see how World Rugby or a particular referee judges a particular phase of play, and afterwards, to understand the referee’s decisions during the match. Every country is free to ask its questions. At FIFA we are told: “Some teams do it often, like New Zealand. Others never do it.”
Behind the scenes, they couldn’t tell us whether the French XV was used to these refereeing questions. However, there is nothing unusual about a team complaining to the referees after a game. So these are not complaints made by the Blues to World Rugby. On the contrary, Florian Grill insists on cooperating with the refereeing panel: “We must always move forward. We must always say what works and what does not work, when appropriate. The referee is fallible, just as the player is fallible.” “.
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