Rugby World Cup: Water, water everywhere
Annabel not you in honey land
Oct. 13, 2019
Yokohama Stadium's design has allowed the Rugby World Cup to play the crucial Scotland-Japan pool game to be played, inside 24 hours of it being lashed by the biggest storm to hit Japan in 60 years.
Photos of the stadium circulated on social media last night painted a bleak picture, with water levels of nearby River Tsurumi high, and Shin-Yokohama park outside the ground flooded.
But by morning workers were at the ground, the weather had lifted, and by 11am in Japan, World Rugby had deemed it fit for international rugby.
There had been fears that the game would be called off owing to the impact of Typhoon Hagibis , so the hosts would go through to the quarter and Scotland miss out .
France versus England - due at the same ground on Saturday evening - could not be played, as the storm arrived.
As for any test, World Rugby's decisions were dependent on a safe surface, essential services such as medical, security, match officials being able to get in, and a reliable power supply.
Yokohama Stadium is designed to cope with flooding. It is built on pillars that lift it above the river level, with Shin-Yokohama park acting as a catchment should the river overflow. A drainage gate feeds water from the basin back into the river.
Fans who attend the crucial pool clash have been warned there will be limited catering, but they can bring in their own food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Scotland had threatened legal action if the game were cancelled, now they must win well to make the quarterfinals.
Workers were at the stadium early on Sunday morning on clean up duty. Pedestrian bridges leading to the stadium were clear of water, further easing safety concerns
One concern was whether ambulance and police staff would be diverted to typhoon-related recovery jobs, and would enough remain for the match.
Under World Rugby rules the first qualification for a ground passing inspection was "the playing surface must be safe".
After an assessment of the stadium pitch and infrastructure it was deemed to be so.
World Rugby said the decision to play the Japan-Scotland match was taken "following a comprehensive assessment of the venue and associated infrastructure on Sunday morning".
"As Yokohama International Stadium is located within the engineered flood defences of Yokohama City, there will be significant amounts of water in the surrounding floodplains and river.
"This is normal and should not alarm fans," World Rugby said.
If either Scotland or Japan felt the surface was unsafe, they must inform the referee of any objections before the match starts.
The referee will attempt to resolve the issues and will not start a match if any part of the ground is considered to be unsafe.
Three games have been cancelled at the RWC as Typhoon Hagibis caused widespread damage.
Namibia's game with Canada was cancelled on Sunday.
On Thursday, New Zealand v Italy, and England v France - to have been played on Saturday - became the first two games in 32 years of World Cups to be cancelled.
All six sides were forced to accept a 0-0 draw and two competition points each. Italy were the biggest loser, having finished third in Pool B and having to go home.