Last twist in the endless soap opera of the withdrawal of Bernard Laporte from the presidency of the French Rugby Federation (FFR)... Thursday evening, the candidacy of Serge Simon, right arm of the former Secretary of State for Sports, for the post of president-delegate, was rejected by the ethics committee of the FFR.
It is therefore Patrick Buisson, the other contender, who should be appointed this Friday morning in the federal office.
Information from Figaro that we are able to confirm.
Vice-president of the federation in charge of amateur rugby, Buisson seemed to be in the best position to take over from Laporte.
But in recent days, Simon's rating had risen significantly and he seemed to be in pole position.
The ethics committee considered that the lucky winner should not be involved in the Laporte-Altrad trial, which saw Laporte be sentenced on December 13 at first instance to a two-year suspended prison sentence for corruption and trafficking. of influence and a two-year ban on exercising his executive activity.
During this same trial, the criminal court had requested the release of Serge Simon for "illegal taking of interests" but the National Financial Prosecutor's Office then appealed.
“The proposed referendum is an ersatz democracy”
Patrick Buisson, 65, is about to be appointed this Friday morning in front of the federal office of the FFR.
Ironically, he was not even the first choice of Laporte, close to Simon, in his obligation to find an interim successor... This choice will then have to be validated by an electronic vote of all 1941 amateur clubs between January 23 and 27.
The opposition to Bernard Laporte, led by the president of the Ile-de-France league Florian Grill, has already called on the clubs to vote "no" to what it calls a referendum.
“It's a travesty of voting!
The proposed referendum is an ersatz democracy, Grill's Oval Ensemble list wrote in a statement on Tuesday.
The artificial maintenance of Bernard Laporte and his team is only the result of the weakness of the statutes of the FFR concerning the deontology and ethics of its leaders (…) The choice of a successor by a condemned president ridicules us for the eyes of the whole world.
As a reminder, the sentence imposed on Laporte is not immediately enforceable, the former national coach having appealed.
He therefore considers that he does not have to resign but was forced to give in to joint pressure from the Minister of Sports, the National Rugby League (LNR) and the FFR's ethics committee and to accept to step back behind a president-delegate until the appeal trial, which should only take place after the 2023 World Cup.