As we draw closer to the end of the month, the English Premier League is being hit hard by coronavirus with matches being announced as postponed before kickoff; Aston Villa vs Everton and Burnley vs Fulham were among the football teams in England faced with quarantining rules this last week. It’s not only the EPL being hit, but the Championship is also, plus all other sports in various other countries in the world, which is why the French Sports Ministry is calling for rugby games against the British to be postponed.
It’s not just covid-19 anymore
It’s not just covid-19 anymore, there are two new strains that have been identified and the Ministries of Interior, Health and Sport are scheduled to begin talks with the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), who run the Heineken Champions and the Challenge Cups, plus the Ligue National Rugby League (LNR) – who just happen to be a representative body for the top 14, to cancel games against the British this season.
“The Sports Ministry is writing this weekend to the National Rugby League (LNR) to invite it to postpone the next matches including French clubs (against British clubs), in accordance with the wishes expressed by several professional French rugby clubs over the last few days,” the ministry wrote in a statement to Reuters.
Big Decisions to be Made
This means, if the French clubs are unwilling to compete in the remaining two rounds of the group-stage fixtures, the competition could be cancelled completely, or worse still if we see matches postponed, many believe this would put a huge dent in the credibility of the tournaments. An EPCR spokesman said: “EPCR is aware of a formal communication that has been sent by the French authorities to the LNR this evening (Saturday, January 9) regarding the participation of Top 14 clubs in the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.”
“No directive has been given, and the LNR has been asked by the French government for its position on protocols for its clubs playing in EPCR’s tournaments against the backdrop of the recent detection of a new strain of coronavirus in France. EPCR will now discuss this matter with the LNR as soon as possible before making any further comment.”
What does this mean for the Six Nations? France is due to play their opening two games away at Italy and Ireland next month plus, there is a showdown expected between France and England on March 13th at Twickenham. A Six Nations statement said: “We are planning the hold the championship as scheduled in each country with Covid-19 protocols that have been reinforced from October/November period that saw the successful conclusion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup.”
We may begin to see teams pulling out from these competitions like flies, but there’s one country where sports are continuing as if nothing is happening – the US and Unibet are offering big cash prize draws every week just for placing a small wager on either the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB.