for or against Laporte’s candidate, the clubs will deliver their verdict today


The response of the approximately 1,500 voting clubs will be known today. CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP

This Thursday, the response of the 1,490 voting clubs following the appointment of Patrick Buisson as deputy president by Bernard Laporte, will be known.

The approximately 1,500 clubs, called upon to decide since Monday on the appointment of Patrick Buisson as Deputy President of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) after the withdrawal of Bernard Laporte seven months from the World Cup in France, will deliver their verdict on Thursday.

During this consultation, the 1,490 clubs responded electronically to the following question: “Do you approve of Mr. Bernard Laporte’s proposal to appoint Mr. Patrick Buisson as Deputy President of the FFR?”

After counting the votes on Thursday noon, the result will be submitted to the ethics and professional conduct committee of French rugby, guarantor of the ballot, and communicated the same evening to the press and licensees on the FFR website. It will then be approved on Friday morning by the steering committee in Marcoussis (Essonne), in the presence of the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castera who, upon the conviction of Bernard Laporte for corruption on December 13, had demanded that he be sidelined and new elections.

Even if he is close to Bernard Laporte, Patrick Buisson “really hopes to embody the end of business”, told AFP last week this 65-year-old former scrum-half, vice-president in charge of amateur rugby at the FFR and former leader of the club of Uzès (Gard) and of the committee of Provence.

Unless this referendum allows the opposition, embodied by the president of the Ile-de-France League Florian Grill, to tip the clubs into the “no” camp and hope to obtain new elections.

“Corruption Pact”

What she claims in vain since the conviction of Bernard Laporte in the first instance to two years in prison suspended for having established a “corruption pact” with the businessman and president of the Montpellier club Mohed Altrad. Having appealed the decision, his sentence, together with the ban on exercising his activity as president of the FFR, is not immediately enforceable.

As such, he refused to resign, but accepted, under joint pressure from the Minister of Sports, the National Rugby League (LNR) and the FFR’s ethics committee, to step back behind a deputy president until the appeal trial, which should only take place after the 2023 World Cup, in France (September 8-Oct 28). Previously responsible for digital reform and simplification at the FFR during Bernard Laporte’s first term, Patrick Buisson will, if appointed deputy president, be suspected of allowing the former coach of the Blues to continue to pull the strings of French rugby until the World Cup-2023.

Coincidence of the calendar – or not? -, this is the moment chosen by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) to summon the still president of the FFR and place him in police custody on Tuesday for a few hours, before coming out free, as part of an investigation. opened for laundering aggravated tax fraud. Another blow for Bernard Laporte, two weeks before the start of the Six Nations Tournament, of which the Blues are defending champions.



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