South African referee Craig Joubert has been widely criticised by sports fans and commentators since Saturday's quarter-final between Australia and Scotland.

Rugby World Cup controversy

Rugby World Cup controversy

In the 78th minute of the game, Scotland were leading by just one point when Jon Welsh was ruled deliberately offside, and Joubert awarded a penalty. Bernard Foley kicked the penalty, and Australia beat Scotland 34-32.

Upon reviewing the incident, World Rugby released a statement that said the Wallabies should have been awarded a scrum instead of a penalty, since their scrum-half Nick Phipps had touched the ball.

"It is important to clarify that, under the protocols, the referee could not refer to the television match official in this case and therefore had to rely on what he saw in real time. In this case, Law 11.3(c) should have been applied, putting Welsh onside. The appropriate decision, therefore, should have been a scrum to Australia for the original knock-on," said the statement.

Joubert attracted further outrage as he ran from the field after the game, neglecting to shake hands with either captain. Former Scotland captain Gavin Hastings was particularly angry, telling Matt Dawson in the post-match commentary that Joubert "should be sent home tomorrow."

"That is the worst thing I have seen on a rugby field in a very long time. He is not prepared to face up to the players, that is not rugby and that is not the spirit of rugby," Hastings said.

However, many have defended Joubert, with former South Africa captain Bobby Skinstad saying that the reaction to the incident had been "blown out of all proportion."

World Rugby High Performance Match Official Manager Joël Jutge said: "Despite this experience, Craig has been and remains a world-class referee and an important member of our team."

Rugby's governing body revealed the 37-year-old referee will not be officiating any of this weekend's semi-finals.

Australia v Scotland - Match Highlights - Rugby World Cup 2015