Sports Minister threatens to block France’s involvement in Six Nations

FFR President Bernard Laporte says that "to my knowledge, nobody's at fault"

France captain Charles Ollivon is one of 11 players to have tested positive to Covid. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
France captain Charles Ollivon is one of 11 players to have tested positive to Covid. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

THIS year’s Six Nations faces the threat of being plunged into even deeper crisis after the French Sports Minister indicated that she may intervene to stop the French team taking part in the remainder of the tournament if a proper investigation into the Covid outbreak within the squad is not carried out.

Roxana Maracineanu has made it clear that she is unimpressed by the response of French Rugby Federation (FFR) to the situation which caused this weekend’s Six Nations round three clash to be postponed, while FFR president Bernard Laporte has said that “to my knowledge, nobody’s at fault”.

Maracineanu told L’Equipe TV: “We asked an investigation from the FFR and from (president) Bernard Laporte, who himself came to see us before the tournament to present us the protocol and tell us that everything was going to go well, that the bubble was going to be strictly respected with controlled entries and exits.


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“Now that we can see that this is not the case, I am waiting for him to come and explain to us what has happened.

“If nothing happens, if we don’t look into this chain of contaminations and they don’t explain to us how it could happen, then the authorisation that has been given (to play in the Six Nations) can be withdrawn.”

France banned travel from and to non-European Union countries last month, but the sports ministry gave the rugby team a special authorisation to take part in the Six Nations.


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 2306 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

4 Comments

  1. If they do call off France’s remaining fixtures then Wales win the GS by sheer luck cos Italy is just a formality.

  2. Johnnie Beattie indicated this was on the cards a few days ago. It’s impossible to hermetically seal a rugby team so it may be that no one is at fault – but they surely need to look at how it got into the camp. It’s pretty embarrassing the French government is having to step in to do the job of the 6N organisers.

    • This information and photographs have been circulating for a few days in some of the Media. To quote Reuters News Agency 19th February. – “All the players were negative on Tuesday but there were concerns about Dupont, who spent time in close contact with Galthie at an awards ceremony broadcast online on Monday, with neither of them wearing a mask”.

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