Wednesday, July 01, 2009
A FOOTBALLER'S LIES ALMOST CREATED AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT BETWEEN NEW ZEALAND AND FRANCE...
You wouldn't believe it, but a French rugby player's lies after the recent rugby test in Wellington nearly created another international incident between NZ and France. The first was in the 1980's when French frogmen blew up the Greenpeace "Rainbow Warrior" vessel in Auckland, with the loss of one life:
France apologises for Bastareaud:
PM Key receives letter from French PM Fillon apologising for Mathieu Bastareaud who claimed he had been attacked in Wellington.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has apologised to John Key over the Mathieu Bastareaud affair.
In a letter to the Prime Minister he condemns the lies of the rugby player, who claimed he had been attacked in Wellington. Mr Fillon went on to say rugby has always helped the two nations develop mutual respect and he hopes the incident does not damage that.
"The French team's tour of New Zealand was marked by the unjustifiable behaviour of one its players. Through his false statements, as a result of which you had to intervene publicly, he seriously tainted the image of your country and its people.
"You may be assured that I deplore this incident. Our two countries share the culture of rugby. This sport has always enabled our two nations to come together and share a mutual respect. I hope that these sentiments will prevail after this regrettable affair.
"Like all rugby fans, I am delighted that your country is organising the next World Cup in 2011."
Paris correspondent Catherine Field says Mr Fillon's move is highly unusual.
"It might be quite normal in New Zealand for a prime minister to have to know a lot about rugby and to have to talk off the bat about it, but for France to actually intervene like this, is extraordinary."
Bastareaud claimed he had been attacked by up to five men outside the team's hotel in Wellington after France was defeated 14-10 in the second Test against the All Blacks. However, when police found evidence that he had suffered the facial injuries after returning to his hotel in the early hours of June 21, the centre changed his version of events and said he had hit his head on a bedside table after drinking too much. He said he invented the story about being attacked because he was scared of being taken off the French team.
His club said Bastareaud was on holiday in the French West Indies but he was admitted to hospital after trying to take his life by jumping into the Seine.
Amazing but its true!