Heineken champions cup and Challenge cup suspended

rugby
The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been temporarily suspended
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The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been temporarily suspended after the French government recommended that games against British clubs be postponed amid the COVID-19 crisis, European Professional Club Rugby said on Monday.

Both competitions have been suspended with two rounds of group fixtures outstanding amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Following a directive from the French authorities that the participation of TOP 14 clubs in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup at the current time constitutes too great a public health risk, EPCR has no choice but to announce that the 2020/21 tournaments are temporarily suspended," it said in a statement.

EPCR and its Ligue Nationale de Rugby counterparts took part in an audio conference with representatives of the French ministries of the Interior, Health and Sport, as well as of the President’s office, last week in which update protocols were presented.

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However, the statement added: “Against the backdrop of the recent detection of a new strain of coronavirus, the French government has directed that French clubs postpone their participation in EPCR’s tournaments for the month of January, both for matches scheduled in France and for those due to be played in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“On the basis of this directive, EPCR had no choice but to temporarily suspend the pool stage of the Heineken Champions Cup and the preliminary stage of the Challenge Cup.

“While respecting all further directives by governments and local authorities, and prioritising the health and welfare of players and club staff, EPCR, in conjunction with its shareholder leagues and unions, remains committed to trying to find a solution which will enable it to resume and complete the tournaments as soon as practicable.

“EPCR will be making no further comment at the present time.”

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