There is never a good time to be taken into custody.
For Bernard Laporte, we can not say that this is timely.
This Tuesday, the president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) was heard by the Economic Crime Repression Brigade (BRDE) in the case of suspicions of conflict of interest with Mohed Altrad, owner of the Montpellier club and sponsor of the Blues.
Either eleven days before the election to the presidency of the Federation, on October 3, during which the former secretary of state will seek a second term.
Florian Grill, president of the Ile-de-France League, will be his main opponent.
Mohed Altrad, Serge Simon, vice-president of the FFR, Nicolas Hourquet, responsible for international relations of the FFR and Claude Atcher, director general of the organizing committee for the 2023 World Cup in France, were also placed in custody. view.
Laporte is suspected of having favored Montpellier by intervening with the FFR's appeal committee to reduce sanctions against the club, in June 2017.
Federations: horse riding, judo, rugby… before the elections, all shots are allowed
Three months earlier, the Altrad group had become the first jersey sponsor of the XV of France.
The JDD also uncovered the existence of a contract between BL Communication, a company headed by Laporte, and Altrad Investment Authority, for an amount of 150,000 euros.
The president of the FFR had given up.
"We are not in normal timing"
Initially, the hearings were to take place at the end of March before being postponed due to the health crisis.
The choice of the new date, in the home stretch of the electoral campaign, made the Laporte camp jump, starting with its lawyer.
"I am scandalized by the schedule," Me Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi told us.
I asked and repeated in July that we move the date, but the public prosecutor in charge considers himself the sole master of the clocks.
He could not ignore the date of the election, decided in August 2019, and that the date of the hearings would collide with the election period.
Bernard Laporte is in the middle of the countryside and he has to suspend her to answer things, assuming that there is something, which goes back three or four years.
The searches date from February 2018. We are not in a normal timing.
Laporte went further in an open letter to the clubs on Facebook, written before his hearing.
The former coach of the XV of France denounced pell-mell "a real coup attempt", "a coordinated campaign of destabilization" or "a rather nauseating electoral strategy".
"In this conjunction of calendars, I can only see a design", he adds, speaking of "procedural destabilization, media or political pressure.
"This calendar is appalling and unworthy of the functioning of an enlightened democracy ... I will not let these low maneuvers steal your vote", concludes the president of the FFR, who has maintained his campaign program.
Expected in Metz on Wednesday, he must then go to Montpellier before holding a meeting in Paris this weekend to finish in Bordeaux and Toulouse next week.
Gepostet von Bernard Laporte am Dienstag, 22. September 2020
Without ever citing it, Laporte suggests that Grill was operating behind the scenes.
Reached on the phone, the latter "does not wish to react".
“I want to stay focused on the campaign, our program, relaunching licensees, helping clubs and promoting volunteers,” he told us.
This is my only concern.
I have no comment to make on the rest.
Still, the custody of his rival could do its business on October 3.
According to various sources, the duel between the two men would be balanced in the voting intentions of the clubs.
The latter have until Friday to register on the electronic voting platform, open since the 18th. “This affair rekindles the suspense.
There are pro-Laporte and pro-Grill, but the undecided are quite numerous ”, confirms Olivier Pouligny, co-president of Suresnes, who hosted a Grill meeting.
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"This will inevitably have an impact and can tip the vote on the Grill side," continues the manager.
Rightly or wrongly, people may say to themselves:
there is never smoke without fire
What is a shame is that we do not give a good image of rugby.
One can ask the question to know if it falls there on purpose, but I do not think so.
Justice moves forward and follows its own timetable.
In my opinion, this is a fluke.
Philippe Legendre, president of Bobigny, said to himself, “embarrassed that it comes out just before the elections. "" I don't think that changes anything or that there is an impact on the people who wanted to vote for Laporte. I find his results rather positive, whether it is the results of the XV of France or vis-à-vis the amateur clubs to which he has made money. "