As expected, Racing 92-La Rochelle launched the seventeenth day of Top 14 at 3.30pm this Saturday. But twenty minutes earlier, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced the ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people in confined spaces to fight against the advance of the coronavirus, which has already affected 73 patients in France.
Gold, the match was played under the roof of Paris La Défense Arena, a permanently closed enclosure therefore confined. And with 17,856 people attending the meeting, we were well beyond the 5,000 gauge.
Contacted, the National Rugby League says that the same principle was applied as for the Agricultural Show, which remained open this Saturday but which will close in the evening, one day earlier than expected. “The decision was made a few minutes before the match, we were not going to send away all the supporters,” said the NRL.
“The match could have been canceled to the nearest thirty minutes”
“We learned that the match could have been canceled within thirty minutes at the end,” explains Laurent Travers, the manager of Racing 92, who won 49-0 on Saturday. When we see the result, we are very happy to have been able to play this match. ”
The two Top 14 matches on Sunday, Bordeaux-Bègles-Castres and Toulon-Stade Français, are for the moment maintained. The Ministry of Health, however, announced the cancellation of the Paris half-marathon, scheduled for Sunday. The organizers promise to postpone the race to a later date.