The mayor of a small French town is denying he refused burial in his community of an infant Roma who died suddenly a day after Christmas.

Champlan Mayor Christian Leclerc said on Sunday on BFM-TV that "I would like this masquerade ... to stop immediately."

Leclerc was quoted last Wednesday in the daily Le Parisien as saying priority for the few available grave sites goes to those paying taxes. He now says there was confusion among town employees about his instructions. He said on iTele that "my thoughts are with the family."

Mayor Richard Trinquier of nearby Wissous offered a gravesite, and the infant was to be buried there Monday.

The parents live in a crude camp in Champlan, south of Paris, a typical situation for France's approximately 20,000 Roma.