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USA Rugby filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic had sent shockwaves through the sport and affected the organization financially.
USA Rugby directly cited COVID-19 as the main factor in its reason for filing for bankruptcy.
USA Eagles have not had a match since last year. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
“The current suspension of sanctioned rugby activities caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the existing financial challenges facing the Union, and a reorganization process will now be progressed with input from World Rugby,” the organization said in a news release.
The World Rugby Executive Committee approved a financial support package that will keep USA Rugby afloat to help keep men’s and women’s sevens and fifteens programs.
“This is the most challenging period this organization has faced and all resolves were never taken lightly in coming to this determination,” USA Rugby Chair Barbara O’Brien said. “While the current climate is of course much larger than rugby, we remain focused with stakeholders and supporters in the continued effort toward a balanced rugby community where the game can truly grow.”
USA Rugby suspended activities for a 30-day period beginning on March 13 and then indefinitely on March 20.
USA Rugby was forced to file for bankruptcy. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
USA Rugby isn’t the only organization hurting.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said last week that he was unsure whether the nation’s national sport will return.
“We’re fighting for sport’s survival in New Zealand around rugby, and if you can’t get motivated by that challenge and the opportunity that sits beyond that then we’ll never be motivated,” Robinson told Sky Sports New Zealand’s “The Breakdown.” “It’s creating anxiety in our game at all levels, from our clubs and community level and into our professional ranks.
“We’ve just got to take a little more time to understand the information we have to gather and then we’ll be in a position hopefully early next week to start making some decisions and giving a bit more direction and certainty to people.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.