The International Rugby Board has written to Tonga's prime minister demanding assurances the parliament of the Pacific nation will cease meddling in its rugby administration.
The ultimatum follows the resignation of Bob Tuckey, the Australian-born chairman of the Tongan Rugby Union Authority, who stepped down after Tonga's parliament voted 13-4 in favour of a petition seeking his removal.
In a statement Thursday, the IRB said Tonga's participation in the upcoming World Cup was not in doubt but any further political interference could result in a review of Tonga's membership of the world body.
The IRB said any move by Tonga's parliament to further alter the membership of the Tongan Rugby Union Authority would be a violation of its bylaws.
"Any amendment to the composition of the TRUA Board requires IRB approval and any such motion, if accepted, would be considered a breach of the TRUA's constitution and IRB bylaws," it said.
It warned further political interference "could adversely affect the governance and stability of the entity, and prompt a review of [Tonga's] IRB membership by the IRB Council."
Dominic Rumbles, head of communications for the IRB, said the world body had written to Tongan Prime Minister Siale Tu'ivakano "outlining its concerns and seeking urgent assurance that there has been no government interference following a proposal tabled in the Tonga parliament last week to make changes to the composition of the TRUA Board.
"The IRB would like to reiterate that Tonga's participation at World Cup 2011 is not in doubt. The IRB is entirely satisfied with the work of the TRUA, which continues to meet all operational and financial reporting requirements."
Tonga is due to play New Zealand in the opening match of the World Cup at Auckland on Sept. 9.
The IRB appointed the Tongan Rugby Union Authority two years ago after concerns about the administration and financial management of rugby in Tonga. The world body had been concerned about the use of funds provided for the development of Tongan rugby and political factionalism within the sport.
The petition seeking Tuckey's removal was presented by a member of parliament who was formerly the union's chairman but who was deposed when the International Rugby Board took charge.
"The IRB is committed to the development of rugby in the Pacific Islands and established the TRUA in 2009 to address concerns relating to the administrative governance of the Tonga Rugby Football Union and to provide a sustainable platform for the ongoing growth of rugby in Tonga and the transition to a robust Union governance structure," the IRB statement said.
"The IRB would also like to clarify that contrary to media reporting former TRUA Chairman Bob Tuckey was appointed by the former Tonga Prime Minister in consultation with the IRB and that the costs of his remuneration were set and funded by the Tonga government and not the IRB."
One of the assertions of Tuckey's opponents was that he had been overpaid.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.