ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Monday Mar 1, 2021

Inquests called for as Galthié revealed as cause of French COVID outbreak

France head coach Fabien Galthié has been named as the “patient zero” in the COVID-19 outbreak within the national squad which resulted in 16 positive cases, the president of the French Rugby Federation Bernard Laporte revealed.

ADVERTISEMENT

During an interview with French television on Sunday, Laporte confirmed that Galthié had left the team’s strict sanitary bubble to attend a Stade Français junior match in which his son Mathis was playing.

Despite the breach of COVID protocol, Galthié maintains the support of Laporte amid intense pressure from French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu, who has demanded an internal inquest into the outbreak.

“For me, he has the right to leave from the moment he is masked. He was outside,” said Laporte.

“He watched the match alongside Thomas Lombard (director general of Stade Francais), who himself is tested every three days and also wore a mask.

“I don’t see where the problem could be but then again I am not a doctor.

“Why wouldn’t I support him? I am not a prosecutor. And it’s not because I really like Fabian. He knows very well that I don’t give gifts to people.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Sixteen members of the French national squad returned positive COVID-19 results, including star player Antoine Dupont and captain Charles Ollivon, putting their 6 Nations match with Scotland in doubt.

That match is now postponed until a later date, but there will no doubt be calls for France to forfeit the game given Galthié’s more active role in the outbreak.

The French squad had already been under scrutiny from the government, with Maracineanu keen to find answers from the FFR for whom whe granted a travel exception to compete in the 6 Nations following the closing of France’s borders.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition to the COVID cases post Dublin trip, there were also claims in the French press that players had been allowed to go out to eat together in the centre of Rome before the opening round of the tournament against Italy.

“I don’t think it was written in the protocol that the players could go out to eat waffles,” Maracineanu, following reports that French players went out in Rome when they played Italy three weeks ago, said on Saturday.

“We asked an investigation from the FFR and from (president) Bernard Laporte, who himself came to see us before the tournament to present us the protocole and tell us that everything was going to go well, that the bubble was going to be strictly respected with controlled entries and exits,” Maracineanu told L’Equipe TV.

“Now that we can see that this is not the case, I am waiting for him to come and explain to us what has happened.”

Maracineanu said that without the internal investigation, the French squad risked being withdrawn from the rest of the 6 Nations.

“If nothing happens, if we don’t look into this chain of contaminations and they don’t explain to us how it could happen, then the authorisation that has been given (to play in the Six Nations) can be withdrawn.”

Criticism of Galthié, Laporte and the FFR has been vociferous from various sides as well, with Florian Grill – an opponent of Laporte in the race to become FFR president – labelled the situation as “negligence at best, if not, incompetence.”

“The governance of French rugby had signed a protocol with the government, which is no small responsibility. We need to get to the truth of this, we need precision and transparency,” said Grill, who went further than Maracineanu in calling for an independent investigation.

Former French head coach, Jean-Claude Skrela, added to the conversation, saying that “if there has been a lie, there must be sanctions.”

“The sports minister must diligently lead an inquest [into this]; the only people who should lead this are those outside of the Federation.

“If the organisation around the bubble has not worked, both of them [Simon and Laporte] are responsible. If there have been people who have left the bubble to go for a walk or eat waffles, it’s them who have allowed them to do it.”

RELATED VIEWING:

Video Spacer

Related Articles

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Morgan Parra Blasts SA Clubs

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    French ProD2 Prop Score Try

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: 12 minute highlight reel of Antoine...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Jero De La Fuente pulls Hamstring and uses it to score incredible try

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Waisale Serevi: The greatest sevens player ever

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    David Campese: The Aussie all time great

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    The man who once raced a Cheetah: Bryan Habana

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 HOURS AGO

    Springbok Fans Left Reeling At Officiating Despite Convincing Win

  • 3 HOURS AGO

    Bundee Aki Shown Red Following Ludicrous Challenge

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    The Latest Tuilagi Has Just Made His Top14 Debut And Is A MONSTER

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Wallabies Locked Sinbinned For 'Disgraceful' Act

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Marika Koroibete Smashes Caleb Clarke Into Next Week With Huge Hit

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Worcester name 41-year-old academy coach in tonight's premiership cup clash

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Crazy refereeing decision leads to All Blacks win

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Speculation rife after apparent handshake snub in All Blacks coaching box

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Emotional scenes as parents in shock to see daughter leading Haka

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    John Smit Shares Epic Bakkies Botha Story Highlighting Why Opponents Feared Him

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Heart-warming drop goal competition between Foster and Reece goes viral

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Hilarious Streaker Tries To Distract Sharp Shooting Goal Kicker

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Throwback To The Wildest Conversion In Rugby History

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    "I'd Beat Him" Quade Cooper Speaks Out On Potential Jake Paul Fight

View All

Amateur

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Hilarious Club House Antics Shows Rugby Spirit

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: South African Schools Rugby Is On Fire

View All

Player Features

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Joe Simmonds addresses lack of form in honest interview

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Rugby great Eddie Butler sadly passes away

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Graham Rowntree reacts to missing out on 2003 world cup in fascinating video

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Official: Christian Wade signs for French club

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Etzebeth proves to be rugby's biggest thug once again

View All