Bernard Laporte reelected as President of the French Rugby Federation

Bernard Laporte was reelected on Saturday October 3 as president of the French Rugby Federation.

The some 1,780 leaders of French amateur rugby clubs have chosen. At the end of a campaign with a heavy climate and during which the small world of the oval ball spread its divisions, they decided to renew Bernard Laporte as president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) for a second term of four years.

The results of the vote (electronic and decentralized) were made official on Saturday October 3 a little after noon. 95.21% of the clubs voted and the list led by Bernard Laporte collected 51.47% of the votes cast, ahead of that led by Florian Grill, the current head of the Ile-de-France regional league. The list led by the former coach (1999-2007) and former secretary of state for sports (2007-2009) won 29 of the 40 seats on the new management committee. And Laporte was appointed president of the FFR.

“To be elected on promises is one thing, to be re-elected on a balance sheet is another”, explained the former coach of Toulon and Stade Français after his victory. “The clubs were not fooled. Democracy has spoken. I will be the president of all clubs. “

In the Grill clan, disappointment was in order. “It’s very tight, we were told 80% -20%. Appeal ? It’s too early to talk about it but given the proximity of the scores, the question could logically arise ”, said the defeated opponent.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Stale climate at the French Rugby Federation, where Bernard Laporte is aiming for a second term

An unprecedented judicial context

The context of this election was unprecedented. Bernard Laporte is in fact targeted by a preliminary investigation opened by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), for influence peddling and illegal taking of interest.

This investigation is motivated by suspicions of favoritism towards the billionaire Mohed Altrad, who is both boss of the Montpellier club and sponsor of the XV of France.

She came to “hit” the end of the campaign because it earned Bernard Laporte (and several other FFR executives) to be placed in custody, from Tuesday 22 to Wednesday 23 September, in the premises of the economic crime repression brigade (BRDE).

If Bernard Laporte came out free from this long hearing, the investigation is not closed. The first steps of his second term will be subject to this judicial agenda.

Conflict with professional clubs

This is not the only meeting with justice that awaits Bernard Laporte. Or more exactly the FFR. His re-election comes as the federation is in open conflict with the National Rugby League (LNR).

This body, which represents professional clubs, disputes the way in which the FFR imposed the duration of the provision of players for the XV of France for the period from October to December. Failing to find a common ground, the LNR seized administrative justice.

“Making life easier” for managers

In his program, Bernard Laporte promised “A professional rugby united and respectful of the life of amateur clubs”. A 35 million stimulus plan has been put in place, aimed at compensating for the economic difficulties of these clubs.

The team in place have also said they want ” Make life easier “ managers by reducing administrative obligations and constraints.

Bernard Laporte also said he wanted to recover “100,000 licensees” additional by 2024. He also wants to feminize the practice (50,000 dismissed in 2024 against less than 25,000 at the end of March 2020) and the authorities by imposing “A minimum threshold of 25% of women in the composition of all federal commissions”.

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