World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin says the Rugby World Cup in France is a year away despite safety issues surrounding May’s Champions League final in Paris. He said he was “confident” about the safety of his fans.
The kickoff of the Liverpool-Real Madrid match in the French capital was delayed as supporters struggled to overcome a bottleneck to access the ground and were repulsed by tear gas fired by local police.
After the match, supporters were attacked by gangs en route to public transport, with many reporting pickpockets, robberies and threats as police watched.
“There is always something to learn from the experience of other events,” Gilpin told AFP.
“There has been a considerable amount of dialogue between the Organizing Committee, the Paris authorities and the government.
“I am confident that lessons can be learned from it and I am also confident that the Stade de France has a good security plan, a spectator experience plan.”
Last week, Claude Atcher, Gilpin’s counterpart on the organizing committee, was suspended by French sports minister Amelie Oudéa Castella.
“First of all, we have taken seriously allegations regarding the treatment of our staff in Paris,” Gilpin said.
“We discussed with the relevant ministries and the organizing committee.”
“It’s always been that way for us,” he added.
Bernard Laporte, the vice-president of World Rugby and president of the French Rugby Federation, went on trial Wednesday on charges of favoritism and corruption.
The 58-year-old former France coach has turned his back on favoritism by giving close friend and billionaire owner of top-14 champion Montpellier Mojed Altrad a shirt sponsorship deal for the national men’s side. accused of a crime
“As you can imagine, it is not appropriate for World Rugby to comment on an ongoing process that is also a domestic matter,” said Gilpin.
“I will not comment on that.”
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The tournament kicks off with strong organizers welcoming three-time champions New Zealand to Paris with the final block of tickets for all matches available online next month. Up to 6 supporters per person.
Ireland beat the All Blacks in a historic Test series last month, but holders South Africa lost to Wales for the first time on home soil, leaving Webb Ellis’ shortlist to win the trophy longer.
“It’s great for the sport, it will excite the fans more than ever,” Gilpin said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more competitive than I am now, a year away from the World Cup.”
In November, the 2031 hosts USA, Portugal, Kenya and Hong Kong will compete in a qualifier in France for the final group stage standings.
“The tournament is going to be very competitive,” said Gilpin.
“Portugal is well prepared for the tournament.
“The United States are disappointed that they have not qualified so far, but they have a lot of plans in their preparations, with Kenya and Hong Kong looking to upset.”
“That makes it exciting,” he added.