the showdown continues between Bernard Laporte and Amélie Oudéa-Castéra

After the conviction at first instance for corruption of Bernard Laporte, ten days ago, the Minister of Sports did not take gloves, considering that this court decision “was an obstacle” to what was left of the head of French rugby, even demanding elections. Nine months before the Rugby World Cup in France, it is a question of “the highest level of ethical requirement” and “the image of France which is game”, she continued on the airwaves. Another strong man of French rugby, Claude Atcher, was landed in October from the head of the organizing committee of the World Cup for his managerial practices and is the subject of an investigation by the national financial prosecutor’s office (PNF).

A “very constructive” interview

For his part, believing that his two-year suspended prison sentence is not final, and claiming to be innocent, Bernard Laporte does not want to leave the head of the FFR. He came to the minister’s office on Thursday to explain the solution found at the start of the week: to step back and appoint a deputy president who will act in his place until an appeal trial.

After more than two hours of interview, described as “very constructive” by Nicolas Sarkozy’s former Minister of Sports, the Minister reiterated her requests for “guarantees” and insisted on the fact that the choice of the deputy president intended to replace him can be “democratically validated” and “according to an irreproachable process and a precise and rapid timetable”. He will convene a federal office on Friday, according to the ministry.

On the occasion, she specified that the ethics committee of the FFR which, at the end of last week, had recommended a withdrawal accompanied by the designation of a deputy president, was again seized for the purposes of clarification. And make an appointment “at the latest at the beginning of January” to “confirm or not the proposed solution”. The soap opera should therefore not last very long.

Oudéa-Castéra supported by the National Rugby League

At first sight, the article of the internal regulations of the FFR on which the solution found of a delegated president is based (in the event of impediment of a president) does not evoke democratic validation by the clubs, but a designation by the president himself, namely Bernard Laporte. In office since 2016, he was re-elected in 2020 and his mandate runs until 2024.

For her part, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra has received the support of the National Rugby League (LNR), which is also calling for ballots and a complete renewal. Supervisory authority of the federation, the Ministry of Sports has at its disposal only the weapon, considered as ultimate, of the withdrawal of the delegation to a federation.


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