why justice hears Bernard Laporte

Bernard Laporte, the president of the French Rugby Federation, denounces

In the midst of a nightmare, French rugby struggled to sleep. Five men in particular: his boss, Bernard Laporte, president of the French Federation (FFR); billionaire Mohed Altrad, sponsor of the national team; Serge Simon, vice-president of the FFR; Claude Atcher, responsible for the organization of the 2023 World Cup in France; as well as an employee of the federation, Nicolas Hourquet, in charge of international relations.

Summoned for a hearing in the morning, all spent the night in police custody, from Tuesday 22 to Wednesday 23 September. Under the supervision of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), the interrogation can last until Thursday at the latest, in the Parisian premises of the Brigade for the repression of economic crime (BRDE). The possible outcomes of this preliminary investigation remain wide, from a classification without follow-up to an indictment.

Still, this new episode once again upsets the small world of the Ovalie, three years after the first tremors. Originally, a hint of favoritism between MM. Laporte and Altrad. The latter being not only the president of the Montpellier club, but also the “jersey sponsor” of the FFR.

In August 2017, the Sunday newspaper (JDD) revealed a compromising conversation: that of Bernard Laporte, two months earlier, with the chairman of the federal appeal commission, Jean-Daniel Simonet. Their discussion concerns a sanction against the Montpellier club, after the deployment of a banner hostile to the National Rugby League. Overnight, the pain eases. It goes from a 70,000 euros fine and a closed-door match to only a 20,000 euros fine and a stay of the match.

The JDD also revealed the existence of an image contract between a personal company of Bernard Laporte, BL Communication, and the Altrad group (manufacture of construction equipment). The secret contract should have brought 150,000 euros to the head of the FFR for four seminars, if press articles had not forced him to give it up.

A phone call to “shed some political light”

Following these revelations, Laura Flessel, then sports minister, launched an administrative investigation. In a confidential report, including The world has taken note, the General Inspectorate of Youth and Sports (IGJS) indicates that it “Not formally established” the “Exact content” of the telephone conversation in question. But his two investigators ” consider that the hypothesis of a link between the intervention of the president of the FFR and the change made “ by the appeal board “Cannot be ruled out”.

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