World Rugby Vice President Agustin Pichot said countries in the southern hemisphere should not expect financial bailouts during the stoppage of competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while putting beware of the domino effect if one of them falls.
The Argentinian, who recently declared his candidacy for the presidency of the world body in front of the current number one Bill Beaumont, thus rejected the possibility raised in the media of a bailout of the Australian federation, faced with serious financial difficulties and whose talks with the players on a reduction in wages remain blocked. “If Australia falls, it will hit New Zealand directly, then South Africa and Argentina, so we will all fall. There is no individual path,” said the former worried. captain of the Pumas on Sky Sport NZ, estimating the loss at 400 million pounds (around 460 million euros) if the teams of the southern hemisphere could not play this year.
“World Rugby does not have 400 million pounds (…) and providing aid for a cash flow problem would not solve the problems that Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina will have if no match is played this year, “he said. “I firmly believe that this crisis will bring countries to their knees for the first time in the history of professionalism. And we need a solution,” added Agustin Pichot.
The disruption of the sports calendar caused by the spread of the coronavirus has led the president of Sanzaar, the organizing body for competitions in the southern hemisphere, to consider holding Super Rugby (clubs) and the Rugby Championship (national teams) in parallel. ). Agustin Pichot also suggested integrating Fiji and Japan into the Rugby Championship, which currently involves New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina, in order to develop the game and expand the market.