The representatives of the LNR and the FFR met with the Minister of Sports this Thursday morning. Paul Goze has confirmed to Roxana Maracineanu that the current season will not resume. The next is expected the first weekend in September. But many questions remain unanswered.
Given the vagueness that currently reigns over the conditions for the resumption of professional sport in France, it was a particularly awaited meeting, especially after the announcements of Edouard Philippe on Tuesday, postponing the possible resumption of competitions to August, even September.
Thursday morning, representatives of the LNR, club presidents, and the FFR met with Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu. It turns out that the 2019-20 season is indeed over and will not resume. The League will formalize the news in the coming hours. Paul Goze, president of the LNR, confirmed this in any case by passing on the decisions taken in recent days by the League Bureau and the meeting of all the presidents of Top 14 and Pro D2 clubs organized last night. The decision will be officially ratified in the coming days by an NRL steering committee.
No resumption in camera in August
It would be possible to resume in August, but it would be behind closed doors or with very few spectators, a solution that professional rugby clubs, which depend much more on ticketing and boxes than TV rights do not consider viable. This hypothesis is almost unanimously rejected. The clubs and the League therefore aim to return to competition on the weekend of September 4 and 5, on the dates initially scheduled. This can of course only be done under the conditions of strict test protocols. Except that for the tests, rugby will not be a priority, as the Minister reminded this morning to the stakeholders of the NRL and the FFR.
And resume later? For LNR President Paul Goze this is not desirable, even if the closed doors are extended for several reasons (in order to have a real season to play the European Cup, maintain the possibility of international matches, do not that rugby disappears for 10 months, etc …). But new points will be made regularly. Several speakers, including Bernard Laporte, spoke this morning to defend the economy of rugby, in particular on the cancellation of charges by recalling the specificity of this sport. “It’s like in bars and restaurants, if there are no customers, there are no recipes …”