Inclusive rugby team scam: Pumpas XV still don’t know if they can travel to World Cup to defend their title

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Inclusive rugby team scam: Pumpas XV still don't know if they can travel to World Cup to defend their title

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The Pumpas XV team and its set-up for the next World Cup. Photo: Facebook Pumpas XV.

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Pumpas XV is the Argentine inclusive rugby team for people with intellectual disabilities. In 2017 they were champions of the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament played in Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain and organized by an English NGO.

Within 15 days, the Albiceleste Selection must defend your crown to the world. MARAS XV (Mixed Ability Rugby Argentino) will also compete, consisting of players from Santiago del Estero, Mendoza, Santa Fe, San Juan, Neuquén, Tucumán and Buenos Aires, and South America XV along with players from Argentina, Ecuador and Chile.

The next edition of the contest is from June 5 to 10 in Cork, Ireland. But a problem with tickets formed in the delegation of more than 90 people a mixture of anger and pain. Why? They don’t know if everyone will be able to attend.

The Pumpas XV and their set-up to defend the title.  Photo on Instagram @pumpasxv

The Pumpas XV and their set-up to defend the title. Photo on Instagram @pumpasxv

Daniel FernandezDirector and coach of Pumpas XV commented on Clarion that, in late 2019 and early 2020 (before the ASPO was ordered), his team paid the company Championship Toursmore than 40 thousand dollars“sa”complete excerpts“Y”ticket advances“To travel to the tournament scheduled for 2020 was eventually postponed by covid-19.

Advances start at $ 150 and can reach up to a thousand dollars. While the complete flight leaves 1600 dollars. According to him chief trainer of the Argentine team 11 people (including players and relatives) paid for the full ticket at that time.

So far, with 4 players at the ready who participated in the World Cup without flying even though it paid off two years ago. On their Instagram account they collect donations to travel.

Training in Pumpas XV.  Photo on Instagram @pumpasxv

Training in Pumpas XV. Photo on Instagram @pumpasxv

Fernández said that in 2021 they knew they had to play the tournament next year and they notified the agency. But from the other side they already answered the prices “changed”. They know, from acquaintances, that this is a lie and requested to return the advances and the issuance of tickets already paid for. Missed emails, missed calls, claims and denials. Time passed and communication was cut off.

The situation lasted so long the contest came to them. Although they will go to trial to resolve the money issue, no one can solve them right away. “Now that flight is leaving us in between 700 and 900 thousand pesos“, said Daniel Fernández, a pioneer in inclusive rugby in the country and who gave life to Pumpas XV in 2016.

“We are collecting money through donations to pay for those 4 flights because the sponsors have closed everything,” he added. 15 days after travel, nothing resolved.

“On the other hand, our attorney has already initiated criminal, civil and commercial legal action,” he said. They did not reconcile through..

Los Pumpas XV was born in 2016 by Daniel Fernández.  Photo on Instagram @pumpasxv

Los Pumpas XV was born in 2016 by Daniel Fernández. Photo on Instagram @pumpasxv

What can the State do?

From Ministry of Tourism and Sports Matías Lammens’ order confirmed that “they did not know the issue because the victims made no presentation to the agency against the agency in question”, but they added that “from public knowledge in this case it was confirmed that the portfolio acted ex officio“.

Regarding possible penalties, they confirmed that “If the prohibited activities are proven, a file suspension, fine or a specific dismissal from the agency may apply.“. But they clarified that it did not” solve in the short term the difficulty that men had to travel “.

The company’s response

Yesterday, the digital edition of the newspaper La Nación published an unfortunate note saying that we scammed the Pumpas team as a company, without contacting us and listening to our version. We would like to clarify that in any case this did not happen. We have an agreement since 2019 for our company to bring the Pumpas team to the World Cup to be held in Cork, Ireland. The boys ’parents were contributing money every month until 2020 when the pandemic hit. At the time, we suspended payments until we knew what would happen, without receiving new income until now. Very few paid for the entire trip. Less than 10 people have traveled and still have not received their air ticket. We wanted to clarify that of those who have paid in full, there is a group that has already traveled to other destinations, because they preferred not to wait until the next World Cup and they did it right. In the middle of the road and to help the boys, we got sponsors who would help with clothing for the entire squad that traveled from Argentina. The World Cup is rescheduled from June 2020 annually, as is travel to Pumpas. A few days after the trip with everyone armed and made group reservations, due to a unilateral decision of their leadership they decided to cancel the entire contracted group. Harmful mainly some people who have completed the payment and our company of course. From that moment on we interact directly with these people to resolve their personal issue in the best way and that they can travel to the World Cup. We understand that the pandemic, the current situation in the country and all the rescheduling have made it difficult for everyone, but we are here as always. We are a fully licensed and well -established company. We quietly rejected the versions we closed. The pandemic left many companies on the road, but thanks to the effort we made, we were able to stay on our feet. Since 2016 we have dedicated ourselves to sports tourism activity, we have included many children on tours in and out of Argentina, such as receiving foreign delegations to our country. The truth is that the public slanders they make about our Company are offensive and offensive to us, because all of us who are part of Championship Tours are good people. It hurts us so much when they say we took advantage of Pumpas or any delegation. Because that’s how we are. For us, getting the boys from Pumpas is a tremendous honor and in all these 3 years we have worked hard to give them everything these rugby players deserve. We would like to clarify again that we are making every effort to clear this as soon as possible.

A story of love and family

Daniel Fernandez is the creator of Pumps XV. It all started a few years ago. One Sunday afternoon, in 2011, he brought his son Joaquín, who was born with Down Syndrome, to the club “Del Sur Rugby y Hockey” and decided to put together a call to do some sporting activities with his family.

This is how inclusive rugby was born in the country. At the time there were three people, but over the years many more joined. In 2015 the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament they teamed up to participate in the first inclusive world rugby tournament. But since they don’t have a team yet, the small number of Argentines who go to England join the Italian team.

They are the world champions and must defend the title from June 5 to 10 in Ireland.  Photo on Instagram @pumpasxv

They are the world champions and must defend the title from June 5 to 10 in Ireland. Photo on Instagram @pumpasxv

In 2016 Pumpas XV was born. A national team made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities, where seven or eight “supporters” are included in the field making the game more seamless when their participation is needed. The name is a mixture of Pumas and Pampas XV.

In 2017 the Argentine delegation went to the second International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament in Vitoria, Spain and emerged champions.

Now, they have to defend their title in the next tournament to be played in Cork, Ireland. The delegation will be 90 people and include three teams: Pumps XV, MARAS XV (via Mixed Ability Rugby Argentina) Y South America XV (Argentines, Chileans and Ecuadorians).

The championship will start on June 5 and end on the 10th of the same month. There will be 24 teams divided into 6 zones and a women’s competition with 4 teams. The participating countries are: Argentina, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Canada, Belgium, Ecuador and Chile.

So far, Pumps XV and the Argentine Foundation for Inclusive Rugby raises money by donations to compensate for missing tickets. On his Instagram page (@pumpasxv) is all the information about it.

Source: Clarin

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