THE TT Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) has turned to World Rugby, the global governing body for the sport, to challenge a decision by Rugby Americas North (RAN) to disqualify TT’s men’s national team from this year’s RAN Championship.
The team won two of their matches, first against Bermuda (27-24), then against USA South (34-33) and were scheduled to play Cayman Islands in the third match on June 23. They, however, were unable to make the trip on time because of insufficient funding.
The TTRFU attempted to have RAN reschedule the match to facilitate the team, which eventually received funding for the trip, but the regional governing body decided to cancel the fixture and throw TT out the competition.
In an email correspondence with Newsday in June, RAN media officer Laura Gill explained: “On the basis that if Cayman could re-schedule the match, an extension of time had been given to the TTRFU to confirm they had funding in place and a proposed new date; both which they were unable to do in a timely manner. At this point, Cayman confirmed that they were unable to re-schedule the match and the match was officially cancelled by RAN.”
The same correspondence from Gill pointed to the basis of TT’s elimination.
“Due to the cancellation by TT Rugby Football Union of the June 23 RAN 15 a-side international match between the Cayman Islands and TT and the inability for the match to be re-scheduled, under Section 5.5 of the Tournament Manual, which all teams signed up and agreed to, the TTRFU are deemed to have wilfully cancelled the match and as a consequence have been expelled from the 2018 competition.”
Contacted yesterday for an update on the matter, Christophe Brathwaite confirmed the TTRFU took the matter further by appealing to World Rugby.
“We went before an appeal committee which was actually created by RAN themselves and the decisions from their appeal committee was not conducive to the TTRFU. So we’re taking it to a further appeal process which is in the constitution of world rugby,” Brathwaite said, adding, “And we’re taking it directly to an appeal process while we’re requesting an appeal for a judicial committee to be formed from World Rugby.”
He said the TTRFU is now awaiting World Rugby to respond to the request.