Until a few months ago, the outcome of the vote was hardly in doubt.
The outgoing president, Bernard Laporte, was given the broad winner against his opponent, Florian Grill.
Which he treated with disdain.
"Nobody knows him, except his mother, so who cares!"
Will he talk about rugby with me?
I do not see what he can explain to me… ”A small sentence which had the gift of galvanizing the opposition.
The president of the Île-de-France League and his renowned supporters (Novès, Blanco, Pelous, Benazzi…) have gone into battle.
Responding to each of Bernard Laporte's attacks, throwing themselves small stinging spikes.
"A clan, a band of birds of prey, which wants to reign over everything and please friends", had balanced Abdelatif in our columns in May.
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How, who, when ...: the vote for the presidency of the FFR, instructions
Result, a campaign that has grown a little more tense over the weeks.
But a growing notoriety for Florian Grill for voting intentions increasing over the 230 meetings held, by videoconference during the confinement and then during barbecues, with the presidents of amateur clubs.
Grill and his running mates plowed and harvested.
The latest polls show a very tight verdict, with even a slight favorable waiver for the underdog.
It remains to be seen whether this trend was accentuated with the custody of Bernard Laporte and some of his relatives last week in the context of the Altrad affair.
This judicial episode, ten days before the election, in any case brought the current boss of the FFR out of its hinges.
He multiplied the sentences to the punch, insinuating that professional rugby (the NRL, chaired by Paul Goze, with which he is at open war) and the opposition list had been in the maneuver to fix this prejudicial timing .
A conspiracy theory extended to the “big Parisian media”, accused of playing for his rival.
He even went so far as to demand the dismissal of the journalists from the sports daily who instigated the first poll, giving him the loser… A lack of serenity for a campaign that has become electric, even sometimes nauseating.
Where the personal attacks and the emotion prevailed on the bottom (Laporte thus burst into tears in front of the camera, before nastily balancing that Florian Grill was “a coward on the ground” when he played at the PUC…).
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Duel Laporte-Grill for the presidency of the FFR: who supports whom?
The bottom, precisely.
If Bernard Laporte refused to participate in the debate proposed to him by his opponent, the differences of opinion are known.
The former coach of the XV of France wants to put professional rugby in line, and to contribute financially, but also to collect a lot of money from all the investors who would be ready to buy French rugby and then redistribute it in part to amateur clubs .
Company manager, Florian Grill believes in the virtues of good management, savings in lifestyle, in an FFR collecting the label of "company with missions" to obtain money via CSR funds (corporate social responsibility) and sponsorship.
And he wants to "calm, heal" relations with the NRL.
Both, on the other hand, agree on two points: it is urgent to reverse the curve of the redundant (more than 100,000 lost in recent years) and to support volunteers.
This passes, according to Florian Grill, by a comeback of the oval ball in school and university sports.
An idea taken up since by the Laporte camp.
In the end, it appears that the 1,700 presidents of amateur clubs (representing 1 to 15 votes depending on their number of licensees), who will speak for the first time in a dematerialized manner (by electronic vote, the site opening this Friday at 8 hours to close Saturday at noon) will vote more for a man than for a program.
The list which will be at the head of the votes will obtain 20 members of the steering committee, the last 18 places being allocated to the proportional (10 seats are reserved for women, Editor's note).
Its composition will make it possible to deduce the name of the new boss of the FFR.
Verdict of the battle at 12:05 p.m. Saturday.
FFR elections: a look back at sixteen months of murderous little phrases