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USA Rugby to file for bankruptcy

(Reuters) - USA Rugby will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to “insurmountable financial constraints” that were accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, the governing body said on Monday.

The board of directors voted overwhelmingly in favor of the plan over the weekend and said that with a financial support package from World Rugby, it hopes to “deliver a foundation for future stability.”

Under the reorganization plan there will be no impact on the men’s and women’s senior national teams, which had previously qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back a year due to the global health crisis.

USA Rugby suspended play indefinitely on March 20 to do its part to slow the spread of the virus, which resulted in significant loss of revenue from spring and summer membership dues, sponsorship drawbacks and other revenue sources, it said.

“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 in a statement.

“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.”

Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Himani Sarkar