London - A British lawmaker has caused a stink by saying the Rugby World Cup could be spoiled by unpleasant smells near Twickenham Stadium, the tournament's centerpiece that will host 10 games - including the final.
Ruth Cadbury, the member of parliament for a constituency near the home of English rugby in southwest London, says sewage from a plant close to Twickenham is releasing bad smells in the area, and has been seeping into the River Thames near the 82 000-seat stadium.
"There is a real risk the UK could look rather embarrassing if many matches are spoilt by the stench of sewage floating over the stadium," Cadbury told the House of Commons.
Stephen Brown, managing director of World Cup organiser England Rugby 2015, downplayed concerns.
"People are used to coming to Twickenham - we get 82 000 people coming here on a regular basis and it doesn't have that effect ordinarily," Brown on Wednesday at an event at Twickenham that marked 100 days to go until the Rugby World Cup. "So we are pretty relaxed about that. It's not a major problem for us."
Thames Water, the company that manages the sewage works, said £140 million was invested in the plant in 2013, including the installation of odour-reducing equipment and covers.
"We'll continue to work closely with Twickenham Stadium and (the local) Hounslow and Richmond councils in the run-up to the big event," Thames Water said.
The Rugby World Cup begins on September 18 with a pool game between England and Fiji at Twickenham.