Bernard Laporte, the president of the French Rugby Federation, here December 4, 2020. -
ALAIN ROBERT / SIPA
In the last ten days, 17 cases of Covid-19 have been detected within the XV of France, which resulted in the postponement of his match against Scotland on behalf of the third day of the VI Nations Tournament, Sunday.
The Minister Delegate for Sports Roxana Maracineanu last week ordered an investigation to find out how the sanitary bubble, in which the group was supposed to be located, burst.
This report, conducted internally by the FFR, must be submitted on Tuesday to the minister, who is awaiting answers to many questions.
We do not know how it will arrive (by courier, by mail, in person?), But we do not think too much to step forward by saying that Roxana Maracineanu is eager to read it.
The report from the French Rugby Federation (FFR) concerning the Marcoussis cluster must be submitted this Tuesday evening to the Minister for Sports.
Ordered Wednesday last week, even before a sixteenth case of Covid-19 was detected within the XV of France, it is supposed to shed light on the chain of contamination that led to this incredible health situation.
Quite a program, so many questions.
Who conducted this investigation?
Roxana Maracineanu has decided to trust the leaders of the FFR by entrusting them with the reins of this investigation, led by the secretary general of the federation Christian Dullin and the president of the medical commission, Roger Salamon.
The Regional Health Agency (ARS) was put in the loop to provide its assistance, without knowing precisely what role it was able to play.
Will the report be impartial, without concessions on possible breaches of protocol on the part of one or more members of the XV of France?
The minister wants to believe so.
"It is also up to Bernard Laporte to measure everything and to take his responsibilities in this search for truth," she warned Sunday evening on RTL.
Has anyone violated protocol?
It is now clear that Fabien Galthié has left Marcoussis on several occasions for personal reasons, in particular to go see his son play Jean-Bouin during a match between the hopes of Colomiers and those of the Stade Français, on February 7.
Bernard Laporte walked through the streets of Rome on the sidelines of the match of the first day of the Six Nations Tournament, just like some players.
So what?, Got annoyed by the president of the federation during his visit to RMC on Friday.
“To break the bubble would be going to a place where people can infect you when you don't have a mask.
I went out on Saturday morning, I had the mask on, I passed the Italians two meters away and I did not get out of the bubble;
on the contrary, I respected what I am told to be the bubble.
A version confirmed by Roger Salamon, who mentioned the case of Galthié Monday morning on France Info: “In the protocol, it is said that one can leave under certain conditions and he has fulfilled them.
He did not ask me for permission and if he had asked for it, I would have said yes.
If these exits were authorized, it is thus the protocol which seems a little loose.
Here is what he says, according to
Negative RT-PCR test of less than 72 hours with affidavit to reach the health bubble.
RT-PCR test twice a week for all people integrated into the sanitary bubble.
Total isolation for seven days of positive cases and systematic screening of all contact cases with provisional isolation until the result of the test.
Individual accommodation within the bubble and privatized trips to reach a competition venue.
How did the coronavirus enter Marcoussis?
The hunt for patient zero is at least as breathtaking as that for the mole in the locker room of PSG.
For Laporte, there is no longer any doubt, there is a "99.9% chance that the virus entered via a player from the France team at 7".
And too bad if his right arm Serge Simon had said completely the opposite at the beginning of last week.
The very official Covid manager of the Blues had even gone further, in the columns of
: “Patient zero, we know him: he is our physical trainer.
The report should be very precise on this point.
In the meantime, Doctor Salamon has the beginnings of an explanation: "The first thing that comes to mind is that the France team has been unlucky," he told Midol on Monday.
With this virus and particularly its so-called English variant, there is no such thing as zero risk.
From an infection which concerned a rugby sevens player, the virus circulated (…) and resulted in the catastrophe we know.
And when I speak of bad luck, it is because after seven days of isolation, there were cases on the eighth day, the ninth and even on D + 10. "
Serge Simon and Bernard Laporte at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, in 2017. - CHRISTOPHE SAIDI / SIPA
What consequences for the federation?
At a minimum
At a minimum
, his image will come out damaged.
The contradictions of Bernard Laporte and Serge Simon undermine the sincerity of the two leaders, or at least their ability to manage this crisis well.
"Patient zero has changed three times," squeaked the Minister for Sports.
And I prefer that it is the person who presented the protocol to me who explains to me what happened (Bernard Laporte) rather than Serge Simon.
The two men have also damaged their credit with the players, if we are to believe the reactions gleaned here and there by the colleagues.
The president's threats on an exclusion from the group for those who would speak to the press were not digested, like the levity of Fabien Galthié.
“Frankly, I don't know if we'll get over it,” one of them told
There is such resentment, guys look at each other so badly that I'm afraid we won't be able to catch up with it.
Laporte and Simon shouldn't miss out on a great explanation.
"I will not ask for the resignation but if there is a lie, there must be sanctions," warned AFP former coach Jean-Claude Skrela, elected opposition member of the executive committee of the federation.
What follow-up to this report?
On this point also, Roxana Maracineanu trusts the FFR.
For now anyway.
“It is she who has disciplinary power.
I expect her to exercise it, recalled the minister during her speech on the radio.
We have to show, when things go wrong, that people take responsibility, that they explain in all transparency why, that they do their
, and then behind that we start again on a good basis, because the competition is not yet complete.
What if she finds the report inconclusive?
Florian Grill, beaten by Bernard Laporte in the last federal election, believes that only an independent investigation would unravel the knots in this story.
Maracineanu replied that she "waited first to see what will be explained (to him) in the middle of the week and then we will advise".
Anyway, the protocol should evolve for the rest of the tournament.
"The conditions must be tightened to enter the bubble," said Roger Salamon on Monday.
There should be an isolation of 7 to 10 days for players who want to train with the France team before returning there.
So I think we will no longer have partners.
Coronavirus: The health bubble around the XV of France borders on the masquerade
XV of France: Did Fabien Galthié endanger the revival of the Blues by sneaking out of Marcoussis?
XV of France