- Title: FRANCE: RUGBY BOARD ADOPTS PRINCIPAL OF PROFESSIONALISM
- Date: 27th August 1995
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (AUGUST 27, 1995) 1. HOTEL AMBASSADOR IN CENTRAL PARIS 2. CONFERENCE ROOM 3. CUTAWAY PRESS 4. VERNON PUGH OF THE INTERNATIONAL RUGBY BOARD ANNOUNCES DECISIONS AND ANSWERING QUESTIONS (ENGLISH) 5. JOHN JEAVONS-FELLOWS, BOARD MEMBER SAYS IT WAS A HONEST DECISION (ENGLISH) Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 11th September 1995 13:00
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVA30D3BEUINMJUSGHSVNUKK8R79
- Story Text: The International Rugby Board (IRB) opened a new era for rugby union on Sunday by adopting the principal of professionalism.
The IRB said in a statement the process to make the game open would start at an interim meeting of its council next month.
"The regulations relating to amateurism should then be repealed following the adoption of new regulations," the statement said.
"Subsequent to the repeal of the amateur regulations rugby will become an open game and there will be no prohibition on payment or the provision of other material benefit to any person involved in the game." The statement by the game's ruling body followed a three-day session at a Luxury Paris hotel to decide on the game's future and how players will be financially compensated.
Recent moves by Australian magnates Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer showed that the sport could evolve spectacularly out of control of the IRB, especially in the southern hemisphere, where amateurism is now purely a myth.
Rugby authorities from the southern hemisphere have been trying to force the rest of the board to follow their lead in paying players to stop a revolution in which many of the game's top stars would have defected to Packer's professional circuit.
Their lengthy negotiations from Thursday to Saturday were held behind closed doors but their final decision was made without a vote.
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