Euro bosses confirm the inevitable
NEWS: European rugby officials have bowed to the inevitable and postponed the scheduled semifinal and Marseille final dates for this season’s Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments.
EPCR had initially taken the decision on March 16 to postponed the quarterfinals series scheduled for April 3/5, which had Champions Cup matches set to take place in Dublin, Exeter, Clermont and Toulouse, as well as Challenge Cup games in Toulon, Bordeaux, Leicester and Bristol.
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A statement from EPCR read: “Following a conference call on Monday, the EPCR board can reconfirm the suspension of this season’s Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments and has furthermore decided to postpone the semi-final matches, as well as the 2020 Marseille finals, which were due to be played on the weekends of 1/2/3 May and 22/23 May respectively.
“In making the decision, the board is abiding by the official directives and recommendations of the relevant authorities in its territories to restrict the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In light of the earlier postponement of its quarter-final matches and with fixtures in Europe’s professional league competitions currently suspended due to the public health crisis, EPCR believes it necessary to provide as much clarity as possible to all stakeholders regarding the knockout stages of its tournaments.
“To that end, EPCR is working with the leagues and unions to restructure a conclusion to its season as part of a wider rescheduling of the remainder of the season in Europe, with all contingencies underpinned by the requirement to protect the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community.
“EPCR remains committed to completing the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season, and it is planned to reschedule the quarterfinal and semifinal matches, as well as the Marseille finals, in line with fixtures in the professional league competitions, subject to advice from government and local authorities.”