Top 14 Final in Barcelona ‘isn’t sexy’

Date published: November 5 2014

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Toulouse centre Florian Fritz, FFR president Pierre Camou and Serge Blanco have all spoken out over 2016’s final being in Spain.

Toulouse centre Florian Fritz, FFR president Pierre Camou and Serge Blanco have all spoken out over next season’s final being in Barcelona.

The LNR confirmed on Tuesday that the 2015/2016 showpiece would be played at the Nou Camp.

Despite the glamorous fixture being played in front of 80,000 and boosting the profile of the French league, the trio are unimpressed.

“Playing the championship final of France in Spain, I don’t think it’s sexy. It’s a shame. I don’t know the exact reasons for this but frankly, I don’t think it’s great,” said Fritz.

Those reasons are that the Euro 2016 Finals will be taking place in France during the same time as the Top 14 Final is normally played, leaving the league without a venue at the Stade de France.

Camou has put the exclusion down to concerns elsewhere about the effects of the final being played on the stadium’s turf so close to the football fixtures, which he refutes.

“There is a European Football Championship in 2016. It seems that we damage the pitches and it’s forbidden to play another sport on them other than football. Is out sport really that different to other sports? Not for me.”

Blanco went further, expressing his disbelief that the French final would not be played in France.

“I think this is serious, for a sport that brings such an economic contribution to the area, not to play its own championship game,” said Blanco.

“We realize that the taxpayer pays, not for all sports, but for one who wants above the other, which is called football. I cannot understand that a national final is not played in our country.”

Plans to construct a specialist rugby stadium for France to use in Paris are ongoing.

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