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A BOLA – The exclusion of Russia keeps Portugal in the race for the 2023 World Cup (Rugby)

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The exclusion of Russia from qualifying for the 2023 World Cup will not exclude Portugal from the race, after four points were awarded on Thursday to all the teams still to face the Russians.

In other words, World Rugby decided to keep all of Russia’s results in the seven matches played previously and to punish the Russians for not showing up for the remaining three matches, after the suspension applied due to the military invasion. from Ukraine.

World rugby’s governing body has also decided that four points will be awarded to teams that benefit from the Russian no-show, not five points, corresponding to a win with an attacking bonus point.

This decision makes Spain-Portugal, Sunday, in Madrid, an authentic final for the direct qualification for the World Cup in France, since the two Iberian teams are tied for second place in the qualification, with 25 points.

To qualify directly, Portugal must win in Spain and hope that neither Romania on Saturday nor Spain on March 20 will overcome Georgia against the current leader of the qualification.

Georgia follow in first place and after World Rugby’s decision they are already through and only need one more point to make it to first place.

Spain, on the other hand, qualify automatically if they beat Portugal, while Romania, now in fourth place, must win both games, but also Portugal beat Spain and the the Lions lose on the final matchday in Georgia or draw in Georgia and beat the Netherlands, as long as Portugal do not get a bonus point in Madrid.

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