Parma fail to turn up

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Pontypridd turned up at Kingsholm for their re-arranged Parker Pen Shield Pool Three game against Overmach Parma last night, but were only able to conduct a training session because of the predicted no-show by the Italians.

Pontypridd turned up at Kingsholm for their re-arranged Parker Pen Shield Pool Three game against Overmach Parma last night, but were only able to conduct a training session because of the predicted no-show by the Italians.

The finance administration executive of European Rugby Cup Limited, Roger O'Connor, read the following statement at the allotted 7.30pm kick-off time.

"It is now obvious that Overmach Parma have not turned up for this rearranged match. I have informed the ERC chief executive, Derek McGrath, of their no-show at Kingsholm tonight and I have explained to Pontypridd that a decision on what happens next will be taken by the ERC board."

Pontypridd were due to meet the Italians in Parma last weekend, but the game was called off because of a frozen pitch. ERC then ordered the game to be played in Gloucester, firstly on Wednesday and then last night.

But an indignant Parma refused to travel to Gloucester for last night's game after their own pitch was twice deemed frozen, and said their offer to switch to the Livorno or Viedana Stadium should have been accepted.

Parma have vowed to fight the ERC, and their club spokesman Corradi Vicci said: "Our legal team is going to look into opening an inquiry into what has happened.

"If it gets to the point where the ERC do not recognise the fact that the venue was Parma's choice, we will not travel to Leeds for our next European game and we will abandon the European competition. Furthermore, we will be taking legal action."

Pontypridd needed to win in Parma to match Leeds at the top of Pool 3 and that would have left them requiring only a victory at home to Beziers on Saturday to reach the last eight.

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