Champions Cup: Marseille final pushed back to 2022

By Chris JonesBBC rugby union correspondent
Stade Velodrome
The atmospheric Stade Velodrome, home to Marseille's football team, has previously staged Champions Cup games for Toulon and will host two 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

The 2021 Champions and Challenge Cup finals will not take place in Marseille as planned, say organisers.

European Cup bosses say "flexibility is required" regarding venues for the finals on 21 and 22 May, "in order to reduce cross-border travel".

The 2022 finals will now be played in Marseille, with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosting in 2023.

In addition, this season's Champions Cup semi-finals will be played at the venues of the home clubs.

Marseille was originally chosen as the host city for the finals in 2020, but this was re-scheduled to 2021 in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

However given the continuing impact of Covid-19, alternative arrangements are again being drawn up by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR).

"In order to reduce cross-border travel where possible and to minimise Covid-19 transmission, flexibility was required regarding the choice of venues for the finals on 21 and 22 May," said a statement.

"EPCR is working with its shareholder leagues and unions to put in place alternative arrangements for the staging of the two matches with all contingencies underpinned by the primary concern of protecting the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, fans, and the wider rugby community."

Tickets already purchased for the Marseille finals will be valid for 2022, with refunds also available.

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