Top 14 seasons 'finished' for Clermont's De Cromieries


Paris (AFP)

Clermont chief Eric de Cromieres said on Tuesday the Top 14 season was over, after French President Emmanuel Macron extended the coronavirus lockdown until May 11.

The league has been postponed since March 13 due to the COVID-19 outbreak with nine rounds of the regular season to play.

"Concretely, the championship is finished and we can't play again," the club's president told radio station France Bleu, after Macron also announced in a TV address Monday that public gatherings would be banned until mid-July.

"It doesn't seem possible for me to train players in a contact situation, with scrums, with rucks by respecting the medical rules which have been put on us.

"For me it's not possible for players to train and be ready to play again in June," he added.

Club presidents are to meet on Wednesday when a return date for the campaign and moving the Top 14 final from June 26 to July 18 are on the agenda.

Brive's Simon Gillham told newspaper Midi Olympique earlier in the week he was pulling out of the negotiations because of leaks to the media from previous video calls.

Nearly 15,000 cases of the illness have been recorded in France with 574 deaths reported on Monday.