The opening weekend of the Fall Nations Cup was plunged into chaos with Sunday’s game between France and Fiji canceled after four more positive cases in the Pacific Islanders squad.
Organizers said on Thursday that Fiji reported two positive tests earlier in the week and that after further tests revealed that the epidemic had spread on Friday, the decision was made to cancel the game.
It is understood that, unlike the national championship of France, there is no threshold for a number of cases leading to automatic cancellation but given that the close contacts of those who have tested positive are also affected, the Fiji were deemed unable to field a competitive team.
With no room on the schedule to rearrange the game, organizers will decide on Monday whether France will receive a 28-0 bonus point win or a 0-0 draw, while Fiji’s game against Italy next weekend is also uncertain. . The cancellation is a blow to the single tournament, scrambled together in place of the traditional fall internationals and for Amazon Prime, which is making its first foray into the sport this fall.
Ben Morel, general manager of Six Nations who acts as tournament organizer, said: “It was a difficult and disappointing decision, but it was the only possible outcome after today’s test results. As we all look forward to this game, the well-being of our players and their support teams remains our No.1 priority.
“We have a rigorous testing program in place. In this case, it is impossible for the Fijians to field a competitive team and we have no choice but to cancel this match. I would like to thank the Fijian and French unions for their collaboration and I wish the athletes concerned a speedy recovery.