In 2023, French rugby should only have its sights set on the World Cup, which will take place in France in the fall. However, another crucial deadline for the French Rugby Federation (FFR) opens on Monday, January 23. For three days, a referendum is organized within the amateur clubs to approve or not the appointment of Patrick Buisson as delegate president of the “federation”. The current vice-president of the FFR was chosen by Bernard Laporte, the president, after the “withdrawal” of the latter following his conviction at first instance for corruption.
“Do you approve of Mr. Bernard Laporte’s proposal to appoint Mr. Patrick Buisson as Deputy President of the FFR? » This is the question to which voters are called upon to answer “for”, “against” or “abstention”, from January 23 at noon to January 26, same time. In total, 1,941 clubs representing 306,000 licensees are invited to vote.
A member of the opposition within the FFR since its defeat in the election of the presidency of the federation in October 2020, the collective Ovale ensemble is concerned about the securing of the ballot by simple majority without a quorum and calls for total transparency. . “During the three days of referendum, we want to know who is voting and when. We wish to have access to the list of clubs entitled to vote », insists Florian Grill, president of Oval together. If Patrick Buisson affirmed, on January 18, in an interview with Worldthat“we no longer see Bernard Laporte” to the federation since his withdrawal, his opponents maintain that the latter “Keep going behind the scenes”calling clubs to influence their vote.
Smother the fire
While during the Six Nations Tournament – which will be held from February 4 to March 18 – French rugby players will be keen to set the stadiums on fire, to defend their trophy won in 2022, on the FFR side, the time has come. smother the fire. On December 13, Bernard Laporte was sentenced at first instance to a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros, together with a ban on exercising any function related to rugby, for “passive corruption”, “trafficking of influence”, “illegal taking of interests”, “concealment of misuse of corporate assets” and “misuse of corporate assets”.
Bernard Laporte, who appealed against this judgment, however left his functions within World Rugby, the international federation of the oval, of which he was vice-president. And the 58-year-old leader, in office at the FFR since 2016 and re-elected for a four-year term in 2020, wants to remain the boss of French rugby, despite calls for resignation made by the National Rugby League (LNR ) and the Ministry of Sports.
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