The Heineken Champions Cup Has Been Suspended

Paola Ditto
Gennaio 14, 2021

Despite trying to allay the fears of the French Ministry for Sport with coronavirus safety protocols, the French government were increasingly wary of a new coronavirus strain detected in Britain.

The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), which runs the tournaments announced the halt after talks with the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, which organises the Top 14.

"In short, we're expecting a definitive directive from the French government which we have not received so far, as to whether or not the French clubs will be able to participate in rounds three and four of this season's Champions Cup and Challenge Cup", Gaillard told BBC radio.

The tournaments were due to resume this weekend, with Leinster supposed to travel to England to take on Northampton Saints.

French rugby release statement on Six Nations participation
European Champions Cup, Challenge Cup suspended due to France's Covid-19 protocols

Furthermore the sanctions will mean that the final two rounds of the Champions Cup group stage, European rugby's elite competition, can not take place either with immediate effect. "The tournament will be played, with a health protocol dictated by the government, and linked to this mutant virus".

Rugby union's European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been suspended after the French government said the Covid-19 pandemic made it too risky for French teams to play, organisers said Monday.

Shortly following this decision, Premiership Rugby announced that the English domestic competition would take a two-week mid-season break. What we do know today is we have four weekends now scheduled over the months of April and May, but we have six weekends required to finished the season.

France are set to play continental neighbours Italy in the first round of the Six Nations, which may give authorities a little more time in regards to finding a solution to playing UK-based teams.

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