after the “no” which thwarts the plans of Bernard Laporte, the French Federation seeks a way out of the crisis

Bernard Laporte saw, Thursday, December 26, his candidate as delegate president of the FFR be disavowed.

Who will lead the French Rugby Federation (FFR), a few months before the 2023 World Cup being held in France? After seventy-two hours of voting, the “cardinals” of French rugby refused the anointing to Patrick Buisson; and at the Marcoussis National Rugby Center (Essonne), uncertainty reigns.

The presidents of all the associations of amateur clubs in France have been called upon since Monday to express – electronically – their opinion on the governance of the FFR. Although tight, the result of the ballot, communicated Thursday, January 26, is final. With 51.06% of the vote, French rugby rejected the candidate proposed by Bernard Laporte to assume his prerogatives, the time that the former coach of the XV of France is fixed on his appeal trial.

Sentenced on December 13, 2022 to a two-year suspended prison sentence, a fine of 75,000 euros and a two-year ban on exercising any function related to rugby – in particular for “passive corruption”, “influence peddling” and “Illegal taking of interests” – Bernard Laporte appealed. And initially intended, presumption of innocence obliges, to remain in place at the presidency of the FFR. But under pressure from the sports minister, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, and the federation’s ethics committee, the leader agreed to a “withdrawal” causing him to lose all of his duties except the title. And proposed, in accordance with the statutes of the FFR, a delegate president to replace him.

Responsible for weighing the pros and cons of Patrick Buisson’s candidacy, the approximately 1,500 amateur clubs that dot French rugby have chosen to give up. A snub for Bernard Laporte, who had personally appointed the vice-president of the FFR in charge of amateur rugby, to the point of incorporating his name in the question posed to the clubs – “Do you approve of Bernard Laporte’s proposal to appoint Patrick Buisson as deputy president of the FFR? ».

The holding of elections after this vote of no confidence?

“I find it incredible that it is the president who has been asked to step down who is proposing his successor, tance Eric Marchoux, president of the Lacapelle-Biron club (Lot-et-Garonne) and assumed opponent of the still president. The fact of mentioning Bernard Laporte in the question was not insignificant: it was not a vote for Patrick Buisson. » Although the latter reiterated last week in The world that he “would make all the decisions” in case of “yes” and that “deputy president, he is not a nominee”for many clubs, the shadow of Bernard Laporte hovered behind the one who has been part of his close guard since 2016.

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