Covid: no fault but a protocol "belt and suspenders" for the XV of France

Bernard Laporte held a press point on Friday with Jean-Michel Blanquer and Roxana Maracineanu to take stock of the management of the coronavirus within the XV of France. The president of the FFR and the two ministers confirmed the absence of fault among the Blues but unveiled a strengthening of the health protocol for the rest of the VI Nations Tournament.

Loss of the approval of the ministry, sanction against the coach Fabien Galthié … the stakes of the interview between Bernard Laporte, Roxana Maracineanu and Jean-Michel Blanquer were important this Friday following the cases of Covid-19 within the XV of France before the France-Scotland match in the VI Nations Tournament. At the end of this meeting and according to the results of the internal investigation at the French Rugby Federation, no fault was identified in relation to the health protocol.

“For me, no one has violated the protocol and Fabien Galthié either. Let things be clear, explained Bernard Laporte to journalists. On the other hand, we realize that we have to go further. And that is why recommendations were issued by the ministers and that seems logical to me. There is still an image around the XV of France so we can see the extent that this can take. I say it again, I believe that no one was at fault, but we have to go even further. “

Regarding the issue of patient zero, the origin of the cluster when the teams from France were brought together has been confirmed. “There is a report which notifies that the virus is entered by a player with VII, estimated the president of the FFR. The poor person has nothing to do with it, there is no question of condemning him.”

Ibanez and a state executive to manage the Covid

The absence of fault within the XV of France was confirmed by Roxana Maracineanu and Jean-Michel Blanquer. But the two members of the government also recalled the importance of ensuring compliance with the established protocol. Serge Simon, strongly criticized in recent weeks, was the “Covid manager” of the XV of France and the FFR. It is now Raphaël Ibanez (manager of the Blues) and a state executive appointed by the national technical director (Didier Retière) who will ensure the application of health instructions.

“Concretely, the health protocol has been respected, Jean-Michel Blanquer explained about the cluster of the XV of France. But we are never too vigilant. It is true that the zero risk does not exist, but we must pay attention to what happens in everyday life. It is important in high performance sport to have people who take care of this. The Federation has already equipped itself with very high level doctors for that. Now , we have Raphaël Ibanez who will devote himself to it, plus a state executive appointed by the national technical director. So if I may say so, it’s belt and suspenders. We are trying to really secure as much as possible afterwards. “

The daily life of the Blues upset for the future

The XV of France will therefore be able to continue its quest for the Grand Slam in the 2021 VI Nations Tournament. But not under any conditions. The FFR hopes to limit interactions with the outside world as much as possible by the end of the competition with the establishment of a stricter bubble.

“We are creating a real bubble, that’s obvious, even if zero risk does not exist. But in terms of image we need to be exemplary. Even more than we have been. C ‘is that simple, continued Bernard Laporte. […] “If there are training partners, it will be immuno-Covid people, young people under the age of twenty, as was the case last week. But again, we have to be responsible. If we are told that there are no training partners, there will be none. Things are clear. “

Having started well after his victories against Italy and Ireland, the XV of France now hopes to chain a third consecutive success in the edition of the Six Nations Tournament. Postponed after the many positive cases among the Blues, the duel against Scotland should be held on March 26 at the Stade de France. A meeting that could end the controversy in case of victory.

“In addition, we were very proud of the first matches of the France team in this Sixth Nations Tournament, it started very well and we want it to continue very well, estimated the Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports. We wish the best to the XV of France and that is why we are creating the conditions for a new start which we think will be positive. “

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