Bath provide further explanation as to why Leinster flags were banned at The Rec 11 months ago

Bath provide further explanation as to why Leinster flags were banned at The Rec

Bath Rugby have offered a further explanation as to why Leinster fans were not permitted to bring their flags into The Rec last weekend.

Leinster supporters were not allowed to bring club flags into Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup pool game which forced Leinster Rugby to release a statement reiterating that their flags met all health and safety standards.

The club said in a statement on their website:

"Leinster Rugby would like to formally address the issue experienced by our supporters on Saturday at the Rec regarding the flags that had been brought over by the Leinster Rugby team for supporters use at the Heineken Champions Cup game between Leinster and Bath Rugby.

"While Leinster Rugby respect the decision made by Bath Rugby and their officials, we are keen to avoid a repeat ever happening again and in this regard we are happy to confirm that the flags distributed centrally by Leinster Rugby are covered by a Safety Certificate and that the same batch of flags are still in use.

"We have also consulted with our flag providers, Scimitar Sports, and also with our own Health & Safety Officers who are both happy to discuss any issues with Bath Rugby direct to allay their fears.

"Scimitar Sports provide flags for a host of teams across Europe and their flags have passed testing at various grounds including the RDS Arena, Wembley, Old Trafford, Twickenham, Allianz Stadium, The Aviva Stadium, Murrayfield and The Principality."

Bath then released a follow up statement earlier today and cited that the decision not to allow flags into the ground was made by Bath Rugby’s independent safety officer.

The club said in a statement on their website:

"The decision not to approve the use of the flags was made by Bath Rugby’s independent safety officer who has very significant experience across the industry in large scale sporting events including football as well as rugby.

"No fire certificate was provided to Bath Rugby at any time with regards to the batch of Leinster supporter flags. Due to this, and regardless of weather conditions, Bath Rugby would have been in breach of the Green Guide, and therefore its Safety Certificate by allowing the official distribution of this item within the ground. Leinster are not bound by the Green Guide as they sit outside the UK and so the Club will not have been aware of its guidance.

"The Leinster flags failed the three industry standard tests which all flags, including Bath Rugby’s flags are subject to. The flags that Bath Rugby use, whilst from the same supplier, are in fact a different model and comply with the Green Guide. Bath Rugby did not stop individuals from bringing in Leinster flags however, sanctioning a large scale official distribution of 1500 flags would have breached the Club’s safety certificate."

Alex Cohen, Operations Director for Bath Rugby commented;

“It’s possible that not all Clubs in the UK will have recognised that the safety regulations have changed. Whilst we understand that flags present a low risk of injury, we cannot and will not ignore the guidance that we are mandated to as part of our safety certificate. We hope that whilst we are all here, talking about this topic, that we can change the conversation and actually do something that will make a difference at this time of year.

“We will be collecting flags after Saturday’s game and will be donating to the local children’s hospitals for all of those children that couldn't make it to the Rec or the Aviva stadium and also might not be at home this Christmas.

"We hope this clarifies our position. We would hope that this situation is now resolved.  So fly your flags, support your team, and then donate your flags - we look forward to seeing you on Saturday for a great game of rugby.”

The full statement can be read here.