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On Friday 8th September, Cape Must Pay! protesters gathered at the Stade de France in Paris, where France were playing New Zealand in the rugby world cup.

The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK are asking both teams to reconsider their sponsorship deals with Altrad, the owners of former asbestos manufacturer Cape.

Documents obtained after a lengthy court battle show that Cape hid the true dangers of its asbestos products in the 1960s and 1970s. Many died as a result. Altrad has a moral obligation to put right some of the wrong that has been done. 

For more than a year now, we have been asking Altrad to donate £10 million to mesothelioma research. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by asbestos. Thousands still die from this under-researched disease every year, and many of them were exposed to asbestos dust from Cape’s products.

Until Altrad meet their obligations, and donate to research, asbestos victims will regard these sportswashing sponsorship deals as an insult both to rugby fans and the sport.

To hear more about the campaign, and to read the documents, click here.

A press conference was held at 6pm on Friday 8th September at the ANDEVA office in Vincennes. Video clips from the interviews, in English and French, are available below:

Can you explain the background to the campaign?

What did Cape do wrong?

What has been the impact of what Cape did?

Why are Altrad responsible for what Cape did back then?

Has Cape not already met its obligations by setting aside funds to compensate asbestos victims?

You’ve met with Altrad. Why could you not reach agreement?

Can mesothelioma ever be cured?

Shouldn’t politics be kept out of sport?

Would you be at the Rugby World Cup if you didn’t have this axe to grind?

Why should the French public care about this UK campaign?

If Altrad were here, what would you say to them?