A preliminary investigation was opened in early October into the management of the public interest group (GIP) France 2023, responsible for organizing the Rugby World Cup, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) reported on Wednesday, November 9, confirming information of The Team. A search is underway at the headquarters of GIP France 2023, the organizing committee also informed. The PNF confirmed that they were carrying out searches.
This investigation was opened for favouritism, influence peddling, corruption and any other related offence, following a report from the General Inspectorate of Finance and the General Inspectorate of Education, Sport and research, in particular concerning the management of the former managing director Claude Atcher, dismissed in mid-October. The joint mission has been working since this summer to, in particular, “analyze the existence of any breaches of economic and financial probity or conflicts of interest” within the GIP.
According to the sports daily, the investigators are interested in the personal expenses of Mr. Atcher, which could have been unduly borne by the GIP, such as the use of VTC, in certain past contracts as well as in possible irregularities related to the ticketing of the 2023 World Cup.
“Alarming managerial practices”
End of June, The Team had published a long survey relating the ill-being at work due to “management by terror” of the former CEO. Immediately afterwards, the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, had asked for referral to the labor inspectorate as well as to the ethics committee of the GIP, in which the French Rugby Federation (FFR) has a majority (more than 60% ), and the minority state.
The submission of the ethics committee’s report this summer, reporting “alarming managerial practices”, had led the Ministry of Sports in early September, in concert with the FFR and the French Olympic Committee, which also sits on the GIP, to lay off Claude Atcher as a precautionary measure pending the investigation by the labor inspectorate. . He was finally removed from his position as general manager of the organizing committee on October 11, less than a year before the start of the competition.