French Rugby Completely Loses The Plot Following ‘Dirty & Scandalous’ EPCR Decision
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FrencgThe five-time champions named their 23-man squad in full earlier today but it was then announced that EPCR would not let the game go ahead, forcing the French side to concede the game to Cardiff.
European bosses cited a risk of further transmission in their decision to cancel the game and now they are being threatened with legal action by the president of French club rugby’s governing body, Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), as well as Toulouse.
In a statement from LNR, they “denounced a scandalous and totally unfounded decision”, adding that Toulouse had proven they were fully capable of fielding a full team, despite a number of positive cases in the camp.
They also accused EPCR of “violating its own regulations”, calling the move “incomprehensible” and adding that it “damages the club and the fairness of the competition.”
“The Champions Cup is a very prestigious competition; its organiser cannot allow arbitrary decisions to be made that are contrary to its own rules,” LNR René Bouscatel said.
“This decision is irresponsible. I have decided to convene a Steering Committee in urgency to discuss the follow-up, including legal action, to be given to this decision.”
Toulouse president Didier Lacroix is also furious and has claimed that a decision was made before any discussion was had with the reigning Champions, who are now in danger of not qualifying for the knockout stages.
“I’ve been trying for weeks to shut up,” said Lacroix
“In the face of situations that we have to manage. We will still try to do it. But the anger has risen very, very high in the face of injustice.
“We, for the Cardiff match, could present a team. We had anticipated, we had been rigorous. What I find incredible and scandalous is that the EPCR does not apply the rules that were passed on to us.
“Maybe our team was less competitive. Yes, Antoine Dupont has Covid. Well, we’ll play without him!
“Today, the EPCR tells us that the team we present, despite our negative tests, may present a risk of transmission of the virus. Who benefits from the crime? How far are we going to go?”
Lacroix argued EPCR had reached “the height of disrespect” after meeting with Toulouse to decide on the fate of the match when, he claims, the governing body had already made the decision to cancel the fixture and had even informed Cardiff.
He also described the decision as “dirty” and the “height of disrespect” with legal action now being considered.
“Unacceptable. What is our fault? For being able to field a competitive team?” he added.
The result is good news for Connacht fans, however, with the western province qualifying for the knockout stages for the first time ever because of it.