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Welsh rugby sponsor expects ‘decisive action’ from WRU over allegations of racism and homophobia

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A major Welsh rugby sponsor says they expect the Welsh Rugby Union to take “immediate and decisive action” with the governing body facing allegations of sexism and discrimination.

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The Rinshipality Building Society, sponsors of the National Stadium for Wales in Cardiff and supporters of the Welsh Grassroots Game, described the allegations as “extremely worrying”.

Several ex-WRU staff took part in an investigation by BBC Wales, which was shown on Monday night, with allegations about their time at the governing body.

Charlotte Wathan, general manager of women’s rugby until she resigned last February, claims offensive comments by a colleague left her in tears and feeling sick, while another anonymous contributor says she was driven to suicide by her experiences of bullying and sexism at work. Was thinking about BBC Wales investigation.

Incidents of racism and homophobia are also alleged.

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Vicky Wells, Chief Client Officer at Principality Building Society, said: “Principality Building Society takes great pride in supporting grassroots rugby within the various communities we serve, as we have for over 20 years .

“The Principality seeks to work with partners who share our values.

“The allegations in the BBC’s emerging investigation are extremely worrying, and we would expect the WRU to take the immediate and decisive action necessary to remove any discriminatory and bullying behavior and to uphold the inclusive values ​​by which we should all live ”

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Meanwhile, fans group JSG Cymru has written to WRU chairman Eouan Evans in the wake of Monday’s event, demanding the sacking of WRU chief executive Steve Phillips.

The organisation, which represents the official supporters groups of the four Welsh professional teams, said: “The BBC program was disturbing to watch and raises many questions about what is happening inside the WRU.

“With this in mind, we will be calling on the Welsh Senadh Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee to launch an inquiry into the governance and leadership of Welsh rugby union during Steve Phillips’ tenure.

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“We are calling on you, as President of the WRU, to immediately relieve Steve Phillips from his position as Chief Executive and to instigate a full investigation into the culture at the organisation.”

In its most recent statement, the WRU said an “amicable solution” had been reached with Wathan “to the satisfaction of both parties” following an investigation by an outside law firm. It said a confidentiality agreement between the parties prevented further details.

It noted that other complaints were investigated and later withdrawn, while new information included in the broadcast “will be followed up and acted upon”.

A WRU spokesman said: “The Welsh Rugby Union condemns the use of racist, homophobic or sexist language and states in the strongest possible terms that racist, homophobic, sexist or bullying behavior has no place in Welsh rugby. ”

A statement continued: “It is important to note that as employers we have a duty of care to both the complainants and those against whom complaints are made.

“The duty of care continues and we are deeply concerned about the impact of this program on those individuals in relation to the fact that the allegations described are baseless after a thorough independent legal investigation.”

Meanwhile, Cardiff Rugby issued a strongly worded statement condemning “the perceived culture within our national governing body”.

The professional sector said: “Cardiff Rugby is distressed and shocked by allegations of discrimination and misogyny in the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), revealed by a BBC Wales investigation.

“In sport, or indeed anywhere in society, there is no place for discrimination of any kind, and Cardiff Rugby condemns the perceived culture within our national governing body.

“We acknowledge and support the call made by WRU president Euan Evans to develop the organisation’s governance to ensure that the board is ‘truly representative’ and ‘skills-based’. Cardiff Rugby’s The Board now unanimously calls for the WRU and the Board to implement it with immediate effect.

We all have a responsibility to effect positive change, and Cardiff Rugby will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that rugby is a sport for all people, of all backgrounds, genders, abilities and beliefs, and we strive to make rugby a safe, inclusive and fair place for all.” Let’s continue.”

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