the bad soap opera that lands French sport

The crisis between the president of Cnosf Brigitte Henriques and a core of opponents around her predecessor Denis Meglia is of growing concern to the sports world fourteen months before the Paris Olympics.

For more than a year and a half, the French Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) has been going through a crisis born of a violent split between its president Brigitte Henriques and a core of opponents around his predecessor Denis Meglia, a soap opera which is of growing concern to the sports world fourteen months before the Paris Olympics.

Will there be an epilogue to this bad telenovela which embarres many French sports players? “Nothing is less certain, we absolutely cannot predict what will happen next, it’s tragic“, recognizes a senior executive of French sport.

A general meeting is to be held Thursday in the house of French sport, and never has the climate been so tense, between threats of complaints, calls for resignation and revelations of internal email exchanges…

Brigitte Henriques, ex-vice president of the French Football Federation (FFF), elected in June 2021, will she be able to survive this umpteenth episode of tension?

Technically, unless a resignation, which Brigitte Henriques has repeatedly repeated not to consider, this new AG cannot lead to much.


A senior executive of French sport

A priori, the opponents’ camp does not have the possibility of bringing it down, but here we are at the climax of the confrontation triggered a year and a half ago.», Estimates this leader.

The tension has actually risen several notches in recent days. In a gesture of appeat, Brigitte Henriques had invited Denis Meglia, with whom relations had already been very strained for months behind the scenes, to speak on May 16 in front of the members of the board of directors. But Denis Meglia did not take the outstretched hand and, on the contrary, relaunched a now total conflict.

The former president, before the members of the body, read a letter detailing his grievances against the president, citing financial irregularities and undue expenses according to him. And he then drew the ultimate weapon, citing a complaint against X for breach of trust with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) which was to be filed “in the next few days“, Can we read on the mail consulted by AFP.

An intervention that triggered the ire of Brigitte Henriques, denouncing a “cabal», and a form of «harment“.

Meglia explained to AFP that he could not bear that on April 4, during a press conference at the CNOSF, Brigitte Henriques’ lawyer, Me Arash Derambash, threatened to file a complaint against him.

A new episode that plunged “many federation presidents in a state of amazement“says one of them.

Asked about this situation, the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, estimated on France Inter that “the sports movement can in no way afford such divisions (…) in front of the whole world“, asking that “this house come back in order“.

I do not imagine that these problems, which shock the sporting world, will continue beyond the month of May, I am sure that we will find a solution“ she added again on the L’Équipe channel on Tuesday evening.

She’s right, she has to bang her fist on the table“Judges another federation president”appalled by the shameful spectacleoffered by the CNOSF.

This conflict of people must stop, it is no longer possible“, he adds

“We must stop this soap opera”

Philippe Bana, President of the French Handball Federation

The break between Brigitte Henriques and Denis Meglia finds its origin much earlier, at the time of the ousting of Didier Séminet in September 2022, as revealed by exchanges of emails published in several media, than AFP also obtained. The president, in an email dated October 12, 2021, expressed in particular her indignation at the behavior of the man who had nevertheless dubbed and supported him during his election.

Relations between the two only deteriorated thereafter.

Latest episode, an email revealed by the daily newspaper Le Monde by Denis Meglia sent to Brigitte Henriques in January 2022 in which the former physics professor suggests an arrangement to cover his costs for his role “of ambador” and of “honorary president», mission entrusted after his departure. In this email, consulted by AFP, the ex-president suggests splitting his expenses in two, so as not to cause “misunderstandingof the Court of Auditors.

A new part in a machine gone mad…”This reality show needs to stop. The image given by the sports movement today is dramatic. You have to do a +reset+ of all that, it’s possible“, estimates Philippe Bana, the president of the French Federation of handball.

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