To summarize things in a colorful way, Bernard Laporte loses all his powers, but will keep his business cards. Less than twenty-four hours after his meeting with the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Thursday, December 22 in Paris, Mr. Laporte accepted, in a letter signed by him, the conditions set by the latter for to remain president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), namely to renounce all the prerogatives linked to the function. The boss of the FFR made public, Friday around 3 p.m., a letter addressed to the minister in which are listed all the conditions of his “withdrawal” and the framework for the designation of the president-delegate who will hold the real decision-making power in the federation in the future.
The “withdrawal” of Mr. Laporte had been claimed by the French Rugby Ethics and Deontology Committee (CEDRF) on December 16, after his conviction, three days earlier, to two years in prison, suspended, 75,000 euros fine and two-year ban on holding any rugby-related function – including for “passive bribery”, “influence peddling” and “illegal taking of interests”. Mr. Laporte, who appealed against this conviction and is therefore still presumed innocent, was found guilty at first instance of having rendered a series of arbitrations favorable to the businessman Mohed Altrad, president of the rugby club de Montpellier, from which he received 180,000 euros, in March 2017, in return for a fictitious image contract.
“Until the final criminal decision”
In the letter sent this Friday to Mr.me Oudéa-Castéra, which does not sign the end of the exchanges with the ministry of sports on the framework of this “withdrawal”Mr. Laporte announces, in bold in the text, that he has “decided to follow “to the letter” [l’]injunction » of CEDRF. The boss of the federation then declares that he accepts the appointment of a delegate president, who will recover “the whole of [s]prerogatives, until the final penal decision” in his business.
Mr. Laporte also undertakes not to participate “to all the decision-making bodies of the French Rugby Federation”. He forbids himself “to engage the legal responsibility of the FFR, in any way whatsoever”, and accept accordingly “the removal of [s]signing authority”. He also agrees to “the abolition of all prerogatives of spokespersons of the FFR and of official representation missions”. Finally, Mr. Laporte undertakes to be replaced by the deputy president on the board of directors of France 2023, the public interest group responsible for organizing the World Cup. 2023 in France, from September 8 to October 28, 2023.
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