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Welsh rugby ban choirs from singing ‘Delilah’ after sexism row

Choirs have been told they can no longer sing the Tom Jones hit ‘Delilah’ while performing during Wales rugby international matchdays at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

The lyrics of the song, an enduring standard for Welsh pop star Jones since it first charted in the late 1960s, include a reference to a woman being murdered by her jealous partner.

Wednesday’s announcement came with the Welsh Rugby Union still reeling from allegations of misogyny, sexism, racism and homophobia within the ranks of the governing body.

Claims of a “toxic culture” at the WRU were aired in a television documentary last week, resulting in the resignation of chief executive Steve Phillips on Sunday.

The WRU took ‘Delilah’ off its half-time entertainment and music playlist during Test matches in 2015.

And now guest choirs have also been asked to avoid singing the song.

“The WRU condemns domestic violence of any kind,” said a stadium spokesperson.

“We have previously sought advice from subject matter experts on the issue of censoring the song, and we are respectfully aware that it is problematic and upsetting to some supporters because of its subject matter.”

But it remains to be seen whether fans will still sing ‘Delilah’ of their own accord when Wales begin their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday.

Many England supporters at Twickenham continue to belt out ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ despite the Rugby Football Union asking spectators to consider the Red Rose anthem’s origins as a tale of American slavery. 

Wednesday’s announcement by the WRU was questioned by Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit, who tweeted: “All the things they need to do and they do that first….”

Tom Giffard, an opposition Conservative member of the Welsh Assembly, was scathing: “The decision is a wrongheaded one that amounts to simple virtue signalling, designed to ease the pressure the WRU are currently under.”

He added: “This action will solve nothing.”

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