Cardiff were awarded the Pool B tie 28-0 and five match points, with a match risk assessment committee ruling the game could not safely go ahead; Lacroix says the decision – along with other similar decisions – is threatening the „credibility“ of the tournament
Last Updated: 21/01/22 9:06pm
Toulouse president Didier Lacroix said the club would take legal action after their Champions Cup clash against Cardiff on Saturday was cancelled due to a number of positive Covid-19 cases in the French side.
Cardiff were awarded the Pool B tie 28-0 and five match points, with a match risk assessment committee ruling the game could not safely go ahead, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said on Friday.
„Stade Toulousain had recorded a significant number of positive Covid-19 test results from within its tournament squad, and with the risk of further infection deemed to be too great, regrettably the decision was made to cancel the fixture,“ EPCR said in a statement.
Lacroix said Toulouse would have been able to field a „competitive“ team.
„We will take legal action against this decision because we’re witnessing a total lack of respect,“ Lacroix told reporters. „We cannot let this injustice pass.
„It’s not just one case, many clubs have already been wronged and it is time for this to stop. We are talking about the credibility of this competition.“
The forfeit could impact Toulouse’s chances of reaching the last 16.
The French club are seventh in Pool B on seven points, level with Cardiff in eighth and one point ahead of ninth-placed Wasps, who have a game in hand. The top eight teams in the pool qualify for the last 16.
The Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) condemned the „scandalous and totally unfounded“ decision.
„The decision of the EPCR is taken in violation of its own regulations. It is incomprehensible and seriously prejudices the club and the fairness of the competition,“ LNR said in a statement.
LNR president Rene Bouscatel added a board of directors’ meeting will be convened „urgently“ to discuss the matter.
Later on Friday, EPCR added Union Bordeaux-Begles would not be able to fulfil their Champions Cup fixture against Leicester Tigers after recording a „number of Covid-19 cases“ in their squad.
„The Pool B fixture … is therefore regrettably cancelled with Leicester Tigers awarded the match on a 28-0, five match points basis, in accordance with the tournament rules,“ EPCR said.
Leicester have already secured qualification for the round of 16, while Bordeaux-Begles are sixth in Pool B.
Newcastle’s European Challenge Cup tie against French side Toulon was also called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the English club.
EPCR will convene a match resolution committee to determine the outcome of the game.