The ECPR Board have today confirmed that the suspension of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments will stand, as well as the postponement of the semi-final and finals matches, which were set to take place in Marseille on the weekends of 1/2/3 May and 22/23 May respectively.
Following a conference call on Monday, the EPCR Board have said that in making the decision, they are abiding by ‘the official directives and recommendations of the relevant authorities in its territories to restrict the COVID-19 pandemic’.
Their statement read:
“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.”
They added that they are still committed to completing the 2019/20 seasons, and plan to reschedule the knockout stage matches in line with fixtures in the professional league competitions, subject to advice from government and local authorities.
Tickets already purchased for the Marseille finals will be valid for the new dates when announced, and from that point, fans who are unable to attend on the new dates will be entitled to a refund.
“EPCR would like to thank Olympique de Marseille, the staff at the Orange Vélodrome and all local and regional partners for their continuing collaboration, and an update regarding the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup will be communicated as soon as practicable,” they said.