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LNR: The new meeting did not take place

ByRoborto Sykes

Sep 22, 2020

The new negotiation meeting between the FFR and the National Rugby League initially scheduled for Tuesday could not be held due to the custody of Bernard Laporte and Serge Simon. Decidedly, the horizon always seems darker when it comes to relations between the Fédé and the National League. And it is not this day of Tuesday, which could have led to new advances, which will calm the tensions between these two institutions. Recall of facts. On September 10, the Federation unveiled the calendar of the XV of France for this fall where we find a jumble: A preparation match, a late match of the Six Nations Tournament and four matches of the Autumn Nations Cup. Faced with this program, the LNR sees red and condemns the behavior of the FFR to bring to six, the number of matches in the fall following the extension of the international window recorded by World Rugby. For the League, which agreed to go up to five meetings between October and November against three usually, is too much. She feels aggrieved, deprived of her internationals while her clubs will pay their players to evolve in selection. The LNR, faced with the inflexible position of the FFR, threatened to attack it before the Council of State with the support of all the Top 14 formations.

A request for conciliation …

Faced with this status quo, the National Rugby League sent a request for conciliation to the Fed in order to consider a decision that could satisfy everyone and also to ease tensions. Despite everything, the positions of both camps seem too rigid for a short-term solution to be found. On the one hand, the FFR repeats that it acts only within the framework expressed by World Rugby and therefore that these six matches are quite feasible (from October 24 to December 5-6) and on the other, the NRL rehashes that she has already made an effort by accepting five games instead of three, and that she is not prepared to do more. In addition, this request for conciliation does not have anything of a hand extended between the LNR and the FFR since the two institutions only respect Article 3 of the Convention which binds them and which specifies that there must be a conciliation in the event of a dispute. Hence this meeting on Monday. No way out after this meeting, it is probably in the legal field that it could end.

For nothing

As expected, Bernard Laporte and Serge Simon, respectively president and vice-president of the Federation, faced the LNR via its president, Paul Goze, its vice-president, Alain Tingaud, its general manager Emmanuel Eschallier and its general secretary Rémi Pallincourt. And as expected, after several hours of exchanges, the two parties, sticking to their positions, did not come to an agreement. Only, the LNR and the FFR, had planned to meet again this Tuesday to try to find common ground. Except that this Tuesday morning, drama! Bernard Laporte was taken into custody with three other people including Serge Simon, his vice-president as part of the preliminary investigation opened by the PNF in December 2017 on his links with the Altrad group, owner of the Montpellier club and sponsor of the Blues. The meeting which was to be held between the two bodies therefore did not finally take place. The Federation all the same proposed to “cap, in agreement with the coach, the selection of French internationals to five match sheets” but also to release the whole group during the international rest week (that of the weekend of November 7 – 8 where there is a Top 14 day). It will be necessary to see how the League will react to this proposal while recalling that in the event of disagreement, it could probably turn to the Council of State so that it can rule quickly. The first match of the Blues is scheduled in a month (October 24) against Wales. Time is running out …

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