Champions Cup: after the elimination of Toulon, Lemaitre does not rule out an appeal against the EPCR

Due to a player who tested positive for coronavirus, who had not yet traveled to Ireland, Toulon saw its Champions Cup match against Leinster be canceled this Friday. Eliminated on the green carpet, the RCT is considering requesting compensation from the EPCR.

He believes his club has been “treated like a kleenex”. Guest of the RMC Sport Show this Friday, Bernard Lemaitre expressed his anger after the cancellation of the knockout stages of the Champions Cup between Leinster and RC Toulon, which was due to start at 6.30 p.m. in Dublin.

This decision taken by the European professional club rugby (EPCR), the organization which oversees the competition, resulted in the qualification of Leinster for the quarterfinals and therefore the elimination of the RCT, sanctioned because of a positive case for the coronavirus in its workforce. The player in question had not yet traveled to Ireland, but the EPCR ruled that several of his teammates could be considered as a contact case. “After studying all possible alternatives to facilitate the organization of the meeting, it was decided that the match could not be played safely, given both the current health guidelines in Ireland and the Covid-19 protocols of the EPCR “, justified the organizer.

Explanations that absolutely did not convince Bernard Lemaitre. “How do you want to not be angry? The player tested positive last Wednesday, he was immediately isolated. In the team that was traveling to Ireland, there was no case of Covid. EPCR demanded that the players and staff be retested last night (Thursday). They were and the results are all negative. The match was perfectly playable. (…) We left to have a great match with an extremely solid team and players of the France team. The players were determined to strike a big blow, “he reacted to RMC. This trip to Dublin cost a total of 250,000 euros to Toulon, which is considering claiming compensation from the EPCR.

“We were able to play”

“Are we going to attack the EPCR legally? It’s a bit early to say it, I need to examine the matter with my collaborators. The EPCR is sovereign in its decisions. It can always be decided. take refuge behind the opinions of infectious diseases. The angles of attack are very limited “, underlined Bernard Lemaitre, who would like” at least to receive compensation “.

The Toulonnais, who have three Champions Cup (2013, 2014, 2015) to their list, had already suffered a defeat on the green carpet (28-0) during the group stage in December. They then refused to face the province of the Scarlets due to cases of coronavirus in the Welsh ranks.

“It was the other way around. The contamination existed among the Scarlets, the EPCR had judged that the match was playable, which was scandalous since the players of the Scarlets had declared that there were a lot of cases in them. is the reason why our players refused to play. This is the reverse. The EPCR claimed that our other players were potentially in contact, hence the need to retest the players the day before the match. that we were able to play. There is no such thing as zero risk. Beyond the basic problem, the form raises questions, “he said.

The match between Leinster and Toulon was to mark the resumption of the Champions Cup, interrupted in January because of the coronavirus.

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