To sum things up colorfully, Bernard Laporte loses all his powers but will keep his business cards. Less than 24 hours after meeting with Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra on Thursday 22 December in Paris, Mr Laporte accepted, in a letter signed by him, the conditions the latter had set to remain president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), namely to waive all the powers attached to the function. The head of the FFR announced on Friday around 15 a letter addressed to the minister in which all his conditions are listed “retreat” and the framework for the appointment of the president-delegate, who will have the real decision-making power in the union in the future.
That “retreat” by Mr. Laporte had been required by the French Rugby Ethics and Deontology Committee (CEDRF) on 16 December, following his conviction three days earlier, to serve two years in prison, suspended, a €75,000 fine and a two-year ban from holding a rugby-related function – including for “passive bribery”, “influence peddling” and “illegal acquisition of interest”. Sir. Laporte, who appealed this verdict and is therefore still presumed innocent, was found guilty in the first instance of making a series of arbitrations in favor of businessman Mohed Altrad, president of rugby club de Montpellier, from whom he received 180,000 euros. , in March 2017 in exchange for a fictitious picture contract.
“Until the final criminal decision”
In the letter sent on Friday to Mr.me Oudéa-Castéra, Mr. Laporte announces, in bold in the text, that he has “decided to follow “to the letter” [l’]injunction » by CEDRF. The head of the federation then declares that he accepts the appointment of a delegate president who will recover “all [s]prerogatives until the final criminal decision” in his company.
Sir. Laporte also undertakes not to participate “to all decision-making bodies of the French Rugby Union”. He forbids himself “assuming FFR’s legal liability in any way whatsoever”, and accept accordingly “the removal of [s]signing authority”. He also agrees with that “elimination of all rights of spokespersons of the FFR and official representation missions”. Finally, Mr Laporte commits to being replaced by the vice-president of the board of France 2023, the public interest group responsible for organizing the 2023 World Cup in France, from September 8 to October 28, 2023.
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