September 30, 2019 / 7:48 AM / 13 days ago

World Rugby apologises to Georgia for playing Russian song after win

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool D - Georgia v Uruguay - Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya, Japan - September 29, 2019 Georgia players applaud fans after the match REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - World Rugby apologised to Georgia for playing a Russian song following their 33-7 World Cup win over Uruguay on Sunday after their coach and captain brought up the issue during the post-match news conference.

“I want to take this moment to ask the person who played the Russian music, next time don’t make the mistake again please,” skipper Jaba Bregvadze told reporters following their Pool D victory in Kumagaya.

Coach Milton Haig explained that his team had not taken too kindly to the error by the organisers.

“They were playing a song after the match, it was a Russian song - sung by a Georgian singer but a Russian song. We want to make it clear Russia is not Georgia and Georgia is not Russia,” the 55-year-old said.

“We have a different language, different culture, different everything so to World Rugby, make sure to get this ironed out for us please.”

A World Rugby spokesperson said that the governing body was sorry for any embarrassment caused to Georgia.

“Sincere apologies to our friends from Georgia for any embarrassment caused. We have discussed the matter with the organising committee to ensure no such issues occur moving forward,” the organisers said in a statement on Monday.

Georgia next take on Fiji in Osaka on Thursday.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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