Amateur side say sorry after barbecuing league trophy
French amateur side Chamalieres have apologised after they were roundly condemned for burning the trophy they received for winning an Auvergne regional title.
Chamalieres beat Cisternes 23-6 in Saturday's final of the 2eme Serie, the region's fourth-tier competition, to crown their 50th anniversary season in style.
But, a matter of hours later, their triumph gave way to shame as the players celebrated with a barbecue and a photograph emerged on Snapchat, the photo-sharing app, of the wooden trophy smoking in the embers.
Auvergne Rugby Committee official Jean-Yves Dijol took them to task with a post on his Facebook page which began: "A little personal message to our 'friends' in Chamalieres..."
Dijol wrote: "This piece of wood (represents) a history shared by all the rugby players of our region. (It) belongs to nobody, and especially not to those who do not respect the values of the oval ball.
"After the excellent regional finals, where hundreds of volunteers worked hard for you and so that rugby can grow, this hurts."
In a statement released by Chamalieres, club president Michel Lafarge said: "On Saturday, I felt for the third time the great joy of a regional title with my lifelong club.
"This morning, my sadness is infinite and I do not know what the future of the club will be.
"In a matter of hours, these unthinkable actions plunged the club into total disarray, into a feeling of incredulity, incomprehension and shame.
"I am truly sorry for this situation and wish to present my apologies to all friends of Chamalieres rugby."
Lafarge also promised the club would fund the provision of a replacement trophy.