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French rugby clubs Racing 92 and Stade Francais abandon merger

© Miguel Medina, AFP | Stade Français wing Waisea (C) is tackled by Racing 92's players during the rugby union match in Colombes on October 8, 2016.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-03-19

A controversial merger between top French clubs Racing 92 and Stade Francais that sparked an outcry from players, fans and officials has been abandoned, Racing 92 president Jacky Lorenzetti said Sunday.

"I renounce the plan for a rapprochement with Stade Francais, in agreement with Thomas Savare (Stade president) the merger will not take place," said Lorenzetti in a statement.

Billionaire businessman Lorenzetti and Savare announced the secret plan for merging the two Top 14 Paris region clubs on Monday without consulting the city administration, rugby officials or their own players.

Stade Francais fans launched protests while players called a strike after news that many top players would be axed if the merger went ahead. They refused to train or play against Castres this weekend, resulting in the match being postponed while Racing's weekend game against Montpellier was also called off.

"I heard and understood the strong reservations expressed in response to this project. In any case, the social, political, cultural, human, and sporting conditions were not in place. Perhaps we had the right plan too soon, only the future will tell," added Lorenzetti

(AFP)

Date created : 2017-03-19

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