It's on: Scotland and Japan showdown given green light after typhoon inspection

Rugby World Cup
by Iain Payten

World Cup organisers have given the green light for Scotland and Japan’s crucial clash to go ahead at Yokohama International Stadium after it passed post-typhoon inspections.

Despite a third game – Canada vs Namibia in Kamaishi – being cancelled on Sunday due to heavy flooding in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis, organisers were able to confirm the Japan-Scotland game would go ahead after comprehensive checks.

The winner of the game will go through to the quarter-finals.

There was an early suggestion that fans may not be able to attend the game due to localised flooding near the stadium, but local authorities also gave the thumbs up for a 70,000-plus crowd to attend.

World Rugby said Yokohama International Stadium “is located within the engineered flood defences of Yokohama City” and “there will be significant amounts of water in the surrounding floodplains and river. This is normal and should not alarm fans.”

Typhoon Hagibis struck the Kanto region of Honshu on Saturday and while there wasn’t much damage done by high winds, the heavy rain that fell all day on Saturday caused damaging flooding and landslides in many areas. Three people died as a result of the storm and hundreds of thousands were evacuated from their homes.

World Rugby inspectors were out at Yokohama International Stadium early and determined the venue was safe to play a game, averting the potential for legal action, as threatened by Scotland Rugby Union.

The Scots would have missed out on the finals if the game was cancelled.

“The decision was taken following a comprehensive assessment of the venue and associated infrastructure on Sunday morning in partnership with the Host City. World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee would like to thank everyone involved for their significant efforts to enable the match to be played as scheduled following one of largest and most powerful typhoons to hit Japan in recent years,” a World Rugby statement said.

“Fans attending  Sunday night’s match are advised to check travel operator information before departing and plan to arrive early as it may take longer than usual to enter the stadium. Fans should also expect a significantly reduced level of spectator service in terms of catering and merchandise sales owing to limitations on venue staff availability as a result of the typhoon.

“To ensure the best-possible fan experience, the decision has been made to allow fans to bring non-alcoholic beverage into the venue for personal consumption. All drinks will be decanted into cups at the point of entry. This change in policy will only be operational for this match. As per the earlier announcement, fans are permitted to bring food into venues for personal consumption.

“Transport operations in and around Yokohama will progressively return to normal service levels throughout the day and we will provide ongoing updates via the @Japan2019_ENG fan information Twitter account throughout the day.”