Asia calls for World Cup revote

The Asian Rugby Football Union is fuming over the 2011 World Cup bid voting process, claiming that it “appears to have been open to abuse”.

According to the London Sunday Times, “The ARFU’s lawyers wrote last week to the IRB, the sport’s governing body, asking that the result be declared null and void and suggesting another ballot take place. The ARFU said it may take legal action failing a response by 16 January.”

The letter, sent last Thursday to the Dublin-based IRB, said: “We are aware . . . that the two Irish members were encouraged to vote for New Zealand by being promised the appearance of the All Blacks at the opening ceremony of the redeveloped Lansdowne Road ground.”

The IRB has since stated that there will be no revote.

“As a result of unfounded allegations printed in an English newspaper today (Sunday January 8), the IRB today stated that there would be no revote for the host union for Rugby World Cup 2011 and takes exception to any suggestion that the vote was not carried out in a proper and professional manner.

“The voting procedure and process was communicated to the thee tendering unions in advance of the vote on November 17, 2005. The process and procedure was approved by the Directors of Rugby World Cup Limited and the IRB Council.

“The vote itself was verified by independent auditors from PriceWaterhouse Coopers who informed the IRB on the day, as reported to Council at the time, that the vote took place correctly and professionally.

“A letter containing various unsubstantiated and unfounded allegations has been sent to the IRB from an English firm of solicitors purporting to act on behalf of the Asian Rugby Football Union (the Asian Regional Association of the IRB) and was printed in part in an English newspaper.

“The democratically elected officials of the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) have informed the IRB that the letter should not have been sent as it does not represent the views of ARFU and that the person who it seems engaged the solicitors did not have the constitutional authority to do so.

“The Secretary General of ARFU has written to the solicitors stating that they must cease and desist purporting to act for and on behalf of the Asian Rugby Football Union.”