Uruguayan rugby play­ers in hot wa­ter in Ja­pan

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

TOKYO (AFP) — Ja­panese po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing on Thurs­day af­ter Uruguay play­ers at the Rugby World Cup al­legedly da­m­aged prop­erty and tack­led a staff mem­ber at a Ku­mamoto night­club.

Ku­mamoto po­lice of­fi­cial Kenji Kawazu told AFP that bar staff said play­ers had bro­ken DJ equip­ment worth $9,000 and shoved one em­ployee to the floor, leav­ing him with light in­juries.

Ja­panese media re­ported other dam­age in the in­ci­dent, in­clud­ing from play­ers punch­ing walls and mir­rors and tear­ing apart a stuffed teddy bear.

“We asked two Uruguay in­di­vid­u­als to come to the po­lice sta­tion on a vol­un­tary ba­sis and ques­tioned them on Oc­to­ber 14… one is a per­son who al­legedly poured al­co­hol on DJ equip­ment, the other al­legedly tack­led an em­ployee,” Kawazu said.

World Rugby said it was “aware of an al­leged in­ci­dent in­volv­ing mem­bers of the Uruguay team in a Ku­mamoto bar”.

“The al­leged mat­ter is very dis­ap­point­ing and clearly does not align with the fam­ily spirit of the tour­na­ment, char­ac­terised by the spe­cial warmth of wel­come be­tween the fans, teams and Ja­panese pub­lic,” a state­ment said.

“An apol­ogy has been made on be­half of the tour­na­ment and it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to fur­ther com­ment while the facts are be­ing es­tab­lished.”

Kawazu said po­lice were called to the bar at 4:00 am on Mon­day. He said they were “in­ves­ti­gat­ing care­fully, analysing video and other ev­i­dence, to de­cide if the case con­sti­tutes ‘prop­erty de­struc­tion’”.

There was no im­me­di­ate com­ment from Uruguay, and their of­fi­cial Twit­ter feed made no men­tion of the al­le­ga­tions, fea­tur­ing only images of the team ar­riv­ing back home.

The Rugby World Cup, which be­gan last month, has largely passed off with­out in­ci­dent, de­spite some raised eye­brows in of­ten-re­served Ja­pan over the oc­ca­sion­ally ram­bunc­tious be­hav­iour of fans on pub­lic trans­port and else­where.

Uruguay won wide praise for their shock 30-27 win over highly fan­cied Fiji at the World Cup, but ex­ited af­ter they fin­ished bot­tom of Pool D.

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