The president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), Bernard Laporte, sentenced on December 13 to two years in prison suspended for corruption, refuses to leave his post, insofar as he has appealed the decision, says t he in an interview with Sunday newspaper of December 18.
“I am a legalist: I don’t see why I should leave. This would mean that I recognize the facts for which I am accused. Impossible “retorts in particular Mr. Laporte to those who push him to leave his functions at the head of the FFR.
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.
Since he appealed the decision of the Paris Criminal Court, his suspended prison sentence, as well as the ban on exercising the activity of president of the FFR for a period of two years, are not immediately enforceable. .
But since the judgment, many voices have been raised to ask him to leave, including the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castera, the National Rugby League (LNR) or even the Federal Committee of Ethics and Deontology of the FFR.
“I’m sure I’m innocent”
To all, Mr. Laporte, 58, opposes an end of inadmissibility, in his interview with the JDD. “They have the right to say what they want, I’m sure I’m innocent. In addition, there are statutes, so we respect them. If 30% of the clubs and the votes demand an extraordinary general meeting, and two thirds of the registered voters vote for the resignation of the management committee, then there can be new elections.he believes.
Asked about the interview he must have soon with the minister, Bernard Laporte replies that he knows her ” a little “ and that he has “nothing against her”. “I got it on the phone, I’m going to go see her and we’ll talk. In any case, it does not prevent me from standing for election again”he says.
On Friday, in a three-page letter, the Federation’s federal ethics and professional conduct committee asked the former coach of the XV of France to “withdraw temporarily, as a precaution until a final criminal decision”.
“I obviously take his decision into consideration, which will be submitted to the federal office as quickly as we can summon him”, replies Mr. Laporte, when asked about this opinion. According to information from Agence France-Presse, this federal office must be held by the end of the year holidays.