The French Rugby Federation and the Six Nations Council both agreed on playing the match at nine o'clock on a February evening. Despite the knowledge that the temperature is often sub-zero during February, the authorities that be still went ahead and tried to stage the game on a pitch that does not have undersoil heating.
It defies logic, unless of course you are pandering to the broadcasters and trying to generate as much money as possible. The deal was struck with France 2 whose research states you are going to get more people watching at 9pm than 3pm.
The result: 80,000 fans are told 10 minutes before kick-off that the game is postponed due to a frozen pitch.
The sport's governing bodies just do not care about the fans. It is the same attitude and mentality that has seen club rugby moved to Friday evenings. It is great for television ratings and bank balances, but a logistical nightmare for the travelling supporters.
In the case of the France—Ireland match the Six Nations Council should also take responsibility for sanctioning the kick-off time. Its incompetence is compounded by their failure to act on a number of long-range weather forecasts telling them that there would be sub-zero temperatures.
It is scandalous, especially in these austere times, for the tens of thousands of travelling fans from both Ireland and the four corners of France to spend an estimated £250 each on travel, tickets and accommodation and not be compensated.
It works out to be more than £10 million wasted but the FFR have only agreed, and reluctantly at that, to refund tickets for those fans who are unable to make the rescheduled game on Sunday March 4.
The multi-millions of pounds from the FFR and other Six Nations broadcast deals should pay for any fan who submits receipts for travel and accommodation as well as their tickets.
However, in reality that will simply not happen. And if this treatment of fans continues then the Six Nations Council and the all of the unions should face the impending reality that stadiums will be half-empty.
The one good thing from the first Six Nations match to be cancelled for 25 years is that it could force the scheduling of all future games to Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Or, at the very least, force undersoil heating on all national stadiums.
Either way, it will benefit the fans - and we will not be left with this embarrassing situation.