Much more than 5000 spectators, sale of alcohol, invasion of ground… The National Rugby League had not yet reacted officially to these excesses during the match for accession to the Top 14 between Biarritz and Bayonne, last weekend at Aguiléra stadium and won by the BO after a suspenseful match.
This Friday, the president of the LNR René Bouscatel finally took a position, during a press point in Lille, on the sidelines of the semi-finals of the Top 14.
"It's unfortunate," he admitted, before recalling that "the organization of this accession match is delegated to the home team", in other words the Biarritz Olympique. One way to dismiss the possible fault on the club. The LNR is satisfied with the minimum on this file. “Internally, an investigation has been launched on the various points raised by the sub-prefect. We have no position to take. These are elements of public authorities' assessments, ”René Bouscatel eludes.
On the main problem, namely the exceeding of the maximum capacity of 5000 spectators, René Bouscatel wonders: "Was there an offense or not?
We internally, the information we have is that the ticket office has stopped at 5000. We are awaiting the investigation of the public authorities.
The overshooting is the most annoying, recognized the former president of Stade Toulouse, elected at the head of the LNR in March.
But it is not within our competence ”.
Read alsoTop 14: what sanctions after the overflows in Biarritz?
The Bayonne prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation earlier this week after being seized by the prefect of Pyrénées-Atlantiques on breaches of anti-Covid rules during the Basque derby between Biarritz and Bayonne. The prefect had "condemned" many deviations from health requirements, in particular exceeding the gauge of 5000 people, "the sale of take-away alcohol", however prohibited, and "the invasion of the land without any respect for barrier gestures. »At the end of the match.
"The League will take its responsibilities on what concerns it: the pyrotechnic fire and the invasion of the ground", added René Bouscatel, before minimizing these incidents.
“I do not see how we could do to avoid an invasion during the Basque derby, by happy people, without there being any confrontation, no problem.
It is an offense that will be referred to the disciplinary committee of the NRL, but there is no need to give things more importance than they have.
We must not trivialize, but we must put things in context, ”he said.
"Too bad" not to have more than 5000 spectators for the final
In this context, the president of the LNR also returned to discussions to welcome more audiences to the Stade de France for the Top 14 final on June 25.
Even if, according to him, the overflows in Biarritz had no “impact” on the gauge for the final, he announced that there was “really little chance” for the derogation requested from the authorities in order to succeed. exceed 5000 spectators for the final.
“It's a frustration.
I find it a bit of a shame today not to be able to play with 10, 15 or 20,000 spectators in stadiums with 50, 60 or 70,000 seats, ”he added.
“We still hope,” he stressed, however.
"A final decision should be taken very quickly."