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

  • 15 WEEKS AGO

    France ends 31-year victory drought in Australia...

  • 35 WEEKS AGO

    This is how France will cope with the loss...

  • 36 WEEKS AGO

    French squad goes into self-isolation as...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Electric Reinach embarrasses 108kg number eight and runs 80 metres to score stunner

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Quade Cooper stars in lovely Wallabies try with trademark backdoor pass

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Koroibete montage shows what Wallabies will miss after winger's shock exit

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Analysis of Dombrandt performance shows unseen work of potential England number eight

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Six minutes of Nick Tompkins highlights will leave fans questioning his lack of Test caps

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Nasty video of pro rugby's 'most brutal' red cards is simply a must watch

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Top 14 brawl spills into dug out as tensions fly during feisty Toulouse vs Castres clash

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Joe Marler's yellow card vs Bath looks worse the more you watch it

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    HEAD LOSS: The time Steyn clobbered Kolbe, saw yellow, then clapped the crowd

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Horror knock out a result of 'inadvisable' body position by 110kg Samoan number eight

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 DAY AGO

    French wingers nearly cough up guaranteed try in Top 14 victory

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Questions remain for rugby in USA in wake of All Black thrashing

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Wasps coaches handed one-week bans after misbehaving on the sidelines

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Re-live Danny Care’s crazy brain fade which sent Martin Johnson into a rage

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Analysis of Dombrandt performance shows unseen work of potential England number eight

View All

Funnies

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Erasmus celebrates Boks win over All Blacks in his UNDERWEAR

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Twenty years on since hilarious All Blacks howler almost gave Argentina famous test win

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Five minutes of Mike Phillips scrum half 'sh*thousery' is comedy gold....mostly

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Five minutes of Faf de Klerk on-pitch shenanigans is pure gold to watch

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Montoya calls All Blacks star a pu**y in hilarious head loss moment

View All

Amateur

  • 51 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of mesmerising hits and skills

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 35 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 41 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 42 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

View All