French Top 14
Perpignan defend postponement
November 30, 2009
Perpignan were forced to postpone their showdown with Bayonne © Getty Images
Perpignan have rejected criticism over the postponement of their Top 14 showdown with Bayonne following an outbreak of swine flu in the squad.
Bayonne president Francois Salagoity was incensed by the decision and called for his side to be awarded the points due to the short-notice provided by Perpignan.
The reigning French champions have rejected the criticism however, maintaining that their actions were in accordance with the guidelines set down by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR).
"USAP (Union Sportive des Arlequins Perpignanais) has only followed the procedure established by the LNR as part of the H1N1 influenza epidemic," read a club statement. "USAP isolated suspected cases among its workforce and immediately informed the medical commission of the LNR after receiving analysis confirming a case of proven H1N1 influenza.
"Following this declaration, the medical board of the LNR held an emergency meeting and decided to postpone the match to avoid a risk of spreading the epidemic, and also decided to quarantine the Catalan team until Wednesday morning, forcing the Catalan group en route to Bayonne to make a U-turn from Saint-Gaudens.
"The USAP, which was normally prepared to play the match, has therefore done nothing but submit to a case of force majeure, causing the postponement of the match, and considers any controversy inappropriate."