The EPCR ignored the opinion given by the LNR to declare the cancellation of Toulouse-Cardiff. But did she have the right?
In terms of official communication instead of the EPCR and, therefore, clarifications on the conditions for canceling the Toulouse-Cardiff meeting which set fire to the powder, we will have to wait a little longer. ” It is too early. This situation is still subject to many interpretations and emotions. We prefer to let things calm down a bit before communicating, rather than adding fuel to the fire” we know from the side of the continental institution. Before advancing a factual scenario: several positive tests on Monday on the side of Toulouse, as in many clubs. “But nothing alarming”. Much more alarming: the number of cases climbs to twenty, in the tests carried out on Thursday. Therefore, the EPCR is concerned about an active focus in the Toulouse ranks and convenes its medical commission entitled: “Match Day Medical Risk Assessment Panel”.
The French put in the minority
Analyzing the Toulouse file, he concludes that, despite the isolation practiced, the risks of contamination linked to the holding of the meeting are significant. In their report, the medical commission’s independent doctor and virologist classify the match ” at risk “. in the light of this (advisory) opinion, the EPCR council votes: the French representatives plead for maintaining the match; the English and Celtic representatives consider the health risk too great. Two votes against one: Toulouse-Cardiff is canceled.
On what point is the LNR therefore stepping up to challenge this decision? You have to delve into the rules.
The NRL responds with the text, article 9 of the protocol
Even in the European Cup, each club respects the health protocol put in place in its country. In this regard, Toulouse responded favorably to the protocol of the LNR. Which gave Thursday, then Friday, a favorable opinion to the holding of the meeting.
Therefore, for the NRL, the EPCR had no leeway to go against this opinion. The French institution relies on article 9 of the European Cup health protocol: “If a club is able to confirm that the local public health authority […] approved the application of the relevant protocols in the event of a positive test(s), the default position of EPCR will be that the match can be played safely. »
Clearly: the LNR having recorded the health possibility for the Toulouse stadium to play, the EPCR did not have to ignore it. This is where the tensions arise. “It is indeed the central point” confirms Yann Roubert, the president of Lou who represents French clubs at the EPCR. “The NRL relies on this text. But one can think that the EPCR remains sovereign for the decisions which concern its competitions. She acted as such, when she identified the risk that surrounded this match. »
Much noise for a canceled meeting. And again, very fortunately, Stade Toulousain qualified…