9:46 p.m., January 25, 2023
Nine months before the World Cup organized in France, rugby, through two of its most important figures, looks bad. The president of the French Federation Bernard Laporte was condemned by justice on December 13, 2022, alongside businessman Mohed Altrad, for a pact of corruption linked in particular to the sponsorship of the jersey of the France team. A conviction which prompted the former coach of the XV of France to step back, leading to a referendum to appoint a delegate president. Proposed by Bernard Laporte, Patrick Buisson will be fixed on his fate Thursday evening, after the vote of confidence, or not, of all the rugby clubs in France.
Guest on the show Europe 1 Sports (every evening from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.), the general manager of the XV of France Raphaël Ibañez deplored the “gap” between the “sporting mission” of the Blues and the new legal troubles of the president in withdrawal from the FFR. “This only sometimes illustrates the discrepancy between our mission which is sporting (…), which is in no way political, and (…) all these movements above the XV of France which are the result of power struggles “, he asserted. Bernard Laporte however emerged free from police custody in the evening but the legal troubles of the former coach could continue to pursue him.
Patrick Buisson facing the vote
In office since the end of 2016, the president of the Federation, re-elected in 2020 for a four-year term, was found guilty of five of the six offenses for which he was prosecuted, including passive corruption and influence peddling. But the latter was decided to appeal. “I would not like to rush into a hasty judgment (…) there is a trial in progress (…)”, still affirmed the manager of the Blues Raphaël Ibañez who however wanted to underline the implication of his president in rugby. tricolor. “All that we live with the XV of France, we owe it to Bernard Laporte, president of the Federation: the World Cup in France, it is him”, recognized the former hooker.
Faced with these legal troubles, Bernard Laporte has decided to withdraw. Patrick Buisson has been proposed to temporarily replace Bernard Laporte. All the French rugby clubs must therefore decide, via a referendum, on his appointment. “I do not want governance destabilized by elections in the midst of sporting competition or power struggles,” said the manager of the Blues in Europe 1 Sportsin other words, the latter supports Patrick Buisson.
While waiting for this crucial result to restore some stability to the FFR, the XV of France is preparing in Capbreton in the Landes for the Six Nations Tournament. Les Bleus, who won their first Grand Slam since 2010 last year, kick off their title defense on February 5 in Rome.