7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
This charge was put forward by the ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, following alleged breaches of the Commercial Regulations as contained in the Heineken Cup Participation Agreement signed by all clubs prior to the tournament.
The breaches of the Commercial Regulations (2.6.2 relating to the Provision of a clean venue; 3.1.3 relating to on-pitch branding; 12.1 relating to an obligation to notify the ERC chief executive) were uncovered during AS Montferrand's Pool 4 First Round Heineken Cup clash with Swansea at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin on 12 October.
Mr Hunter's panel, which comprised Robert Horner (RFU) and Achille Reali (Italy), found AS Montferrand to be in breach of all three charges for having centre pitch and in-goal branding.
Commenting on the verdict Mr Hunter said: 'The panel regarded this case as an administrative offence which should not, therefore, have any immediate impact on the players by deducting points.
However, it was recognised that especially for present and future sponsors that the commercial regulations are properly adhered to. Ultimately, this is for the benefit of the clubs.'
AS Montferrand were fined Euros 50,000, Euros 20,000 payable within 30 days and Euros 30,000 suspended until the conclusion of any ERC tournament up to the end of the ending 2003/2004 season.
Costs were awarded against AS Montferrand. The club has the right to appeal.