Toulon President Accuses ERC Of Fixing Heineken Cup Draw

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Updated: January 26, 2011

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has accused European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC) of rigging the draw for the Heineken Cup semi-finals to benefit Pool 2 winners Leinster.

The controversial owner said in La Provence that he had sent a letter to ERC asking for an explanation and evidence of the draw, which he said had not been shown on French television.

That lack of tv coverage sparked rumours in France the draw was done behind closed doors, although it is believed neither Boudjellal nor any of the other French club bosses were aware the draw was live on Sky.

“By chance, the province of Leinster will not only be home for their quarter final, which they won sportively, but for the semi-final too,” said the Toulon boss.

“Is it a coincidence ERC headquarters are to be found in Dublin? On behalf of Toulon and all the other French clubs we are prepared to shine a light as to why the draw was conducted in secret. That’s why we did what we did (in sending the letter). We’re ready to do everything necessary.”

An ERC spokesperson stated that the clubs concerned were informed the draw would be broadcasted live on the British channel ‘Sky Sports’ and on the ERC website.

“(France 2 show) Stade 2 was then to transmit a delayed broadcast of the draw as was the case. Last year the draw of the semi-finals appeared on Stade 2 as the final was in Paris.”

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