Top14 rugby and French legs of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge quarter finals are in major doubts following the news that French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has banned all sporting events until September.
There are also plans to keep crowds from events until January.
Season unlikely to be finished
It’s back to the drawing board for the Top14 and Pro D2 as they now have to work out how to finish the season off. The move to ban sport until September means it’s unlikely they’ll finish the fixtures, of which six regular season games remain.
The hit the clubs will take financially will be huge and Presidents of the clubs across the two divisions have appealed for governmental help saying the effects of no crowds in stadiums until January could be “catastrophic.”
It’s also believed that Canal+ wouldn’t have to pay the remaining €15m instalment, should this season remain unfinished.
With the LNR (Ligue Nationale de rugby) – the establishment that oversees French professional rugby – meeting with its executive board on Wednesday to discuss Philippe’s comments, it seems likely that the season will be called off.
EPCR speak out
EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) – the governing body of European rugby – have today released a statement in regards to their European quarter finals legs, which are due to be held in France.
There are four games set to be played in France;
- Clermont Auvergne vs Racing 92
- Toulouse vs Ulster
- Toulon vs Scarlets
- Bordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh
The statement read;
“Having noted the directive regarding the staging of sporting events in France, EPCR remains committed to making every effort to conclude the knockout stages of the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season, subject to official advice and with the health and welfare of players, club staff. match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community in mind.
“EPCR will now consider this latest development with its league and union shareholders before deciding if further comment is required.”
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