Last Updated: 09/07/20 10:54am
Marseille will no longer host the finals of European rugby’s two club competitions due to ‘insufficient safeguards’ being in place.
The 67,000-capacity Stade Velodrome was due to host the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals on the weekend of October 16-18 but a new venue will now be secured.
Marseille will now host the two matches at the end of the 2021 season.
A statement from the sport’s European governing body, the EPCR, said: “With tens of thousands of fans scheduled to travel to the south of France, the Board of EPCR and the local organising committee have agreed that insufficient safeguards are currently in place during the public health crisis to stage two high-profile matches at the 67,000-capacity Stade Vélodrome.
“As a consequence, EPCR is currently working with its shareholder leagues and unions to secure an alternative venue or venues for the two finals which will be played on the weekend of 16/17/18 October, and details will be announced as soon as practicable.
“Tickets for this season’s finals will be valid for the 2021 weekend with no change to category or seating, and all ticket holders will be contacted by email within the next 48 hours with details of how to avail of a full refund if required.”
Premiership clubs began contact training this week ahead of the competition’s targeted resumption in mid-August, with the completion of the Six Nations championship also still outstanding following its suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak in March.
The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals are scheduled for the weekend of September 18-20, with the semi-finals due to be played the following weekend.