REFEREES at the Rugby World Cup have been officiating without watches – for a very bizarre reason.
Eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice the missing piece of equipment when the tournament kicked off last week.
GettyReferees have not been wearing watches at the Rugby World Cup[/caption]
GettyThere is reportedly an ongoing feud with Tudor[/caption]
GettyOfficials have been forced to rely on the TMO and stadium clocks[/caption]
Usually, rugby referees have their whistle wrapped around one wrist with a Tudor-branded watch on the other.
However, Tudor watches have not featured this year due to an ongoing feud between the Swiss company and officials.
According to New Zealand-based outlet Stuff, the issue dates back to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
It has been alleged that one of the referees from the tournament, who has since retired, sold their Tudor timepiece.
The piece in question was a Tudor Black Bay Chronograph Limited Edition watch worth a staggering £19,950 ($25,000).
Tudor representatives were left furious after discovering that the watch was sold.
However, rugby officials have been left confused by the standoff as they have allegedly not been told directly that they can’t sell them.
As a result of the feud, referees at this year’s Rugby World Cup in France have been forced to rely on the Television Match Official and stadium clocks to adjudicate the game as they are not allowed to wear rival brands.
A source told Stuff: “The sponsor’s angry, and it’s a bit petty… it’s just so poor.”
Meanwhile, fans have also blasted the bizarre feud, with one person commenting: “Tudor is paying lots and lots of money for sponsorship and then throws it all down the drain, bigtime, by acting petty. Doesn’t sound like a good business practice to me.”
Another added: “Silly and petty from the Tudor standpoint, and a bad look.”
While a third fan wrote: “That’s ridiculous – Tudor can’t have their cake and eat it too. If you want them to wear your watch, provide one. Otherwise, they can and should wear whatever watch they want.”