Brought to you by: Monaco Life
Talks will be held next week to decide the fate of this year’s Six Nations rugby tournament as France raises concerns about the potential spread of the new UK variant of the Covid virus.
The French government announced on Saturday a recommendation to postpone upcoming European Cup rugby matches with British teams due to the new Covid strain circulating the country, putting Six Nations in jeopardy of postponement as well.
Discussions will be held next week to decide definitively, but the possibility casts doubts over whether the final two rounds of pool matches, scheduled to begin next weekend, will go ahead.
The French Sport Ministry called the meeting to discuss the annual international tournament featuring teams from France, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy that was set to start on 6th February.
“This new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has increased transmissibility compared to those currently circulating in France, which then increases the risk of contamination,” a statement obtained from AFP said. “It’s why all travel or holiday to Britain is strongly ill-advised. The French government is leaning, on a short-term basis, towards the adoption of measures that restrict or even bar French clubs from participating in games against teams from the United Kingdom.”
The fears are not entirely unfounded. Six fixtures in both the Champions and Challenge Cups were cancelled earlier this season due to Covid infections amongst team members. In December, Bayonne and Pau recorded cases of the new variant in the ranks after playing games in the UK.
European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) last week agreed to take another look at health protocols for international events, which some Top 14 clubs believed to be not strong enough.
Rugby isn’t the only sport having a closer look at their schedules. Formula One has announced the postponement of the Australian and Chinese Grand Prix races, scheduled for 21st March and 11th April respectively, due to travel restrictions to those countries.
A legendary ski race, the Wengen Descent, was cancelled as the Swiss ski resort that hosts it has seen a rise in Covid cases. The race has been moved to Kitzbühel, Austria.
North American sports are also facing Covid-related issues. Both the National Basketball League (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) have reduced schedules or are being forced to reschedule matches.
The Australian Open tennis tournament organisers are making heroic efforts to move forward. The event has been postponed for three weeks, players must isolate in a Melbourne hotel for two weeks and special charter flights just for players were secured to attempt to make the event as safe as possible. Still, no one knows for sure if this will be enough.
Finally, and closer to home, English Premier League football and FA Cup matches are being held off, whilst the Champions and Europa Leagues are not set to resume until mid-February.
Photo source: Shutterstock
The government has reported the death of an 87-year-old woman with Covid-19, marking the 9th coronavirus fatality in Monaco since the pandemic began and the 6th since the new year.
Monaco’s Antonio Salvatore has gained a Michelin star for the five-table fine dining restaurant he created less than 12 months ago in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
Organisers of the 114th Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters are “hopeful” the event will go ahead in April, despite delaying ticket sales for the popular tennis tournament.
The first regatta of the year in the Principality was won by an Italian team captained by Claudia Rossi on the Petite Terrible-Adria Ferries at the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series.
"We have had the busiest year ever, so far, in respect of awarding the largest number of scholarships and prizes to the young people of Monaco, and their participating in a diverse array of aviation activities," Mr Foyle told Monaco Life.Several leading members, including Patron Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Roger Shine, Chairperson of the Strategic Committee of the Friends of the CHPG Foundation, have been particularly supportive and generous. One of the highlights of the past few months is that HSH Prince Albert has agreed to be Principal Patron of the Monaco Air League. “We are enormously grateful to have His Serene Highness as our most interested and supportive Principal Patron, bearing in mind how unbelievably busy he is with his government duties and many other charities," Mr Foyle commented. "His patronage has greatly raised our profile and is helping to propel us forwards at a faster rate." The Monaco Air League continues to support Clemens Toussaint in his bid to bring aviation to Monaco. Clemens has renamed Villanova-Albenga Airport in Italy as Riviera Airport. Riviera Airport is now attracting a growing demand from private jet operators, with a increasing number of hangar clients, and has just signed an MOU with one of the major global players in private jet management to become their main European base. This winter, the airport will start work to extend the 1,500-metre runway by 200 metres, which together with its existing high maximum take-off weight limit of 60 tonnes – double that of Cannes-Mandelieu – will enable it to accommodate the largest private jets arriving from anywhere in the world – even the Boeing BBJ and Airbus equivalent, Mr Foyle said. The League is still looking at the possibility of an air display over the sea in front of the Principality, as well many other ideas and events.