Rugby: in General Assembly, the Federation ignores the social climate at France-2023

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During the AG of the FFR this Saturday, July 2, the accusations against Claude Atcher, boss of the organizing committee of the future World Cup in France, were not mentioned. An investigation by the newspaper L’Equipe concerned a “management of terror”. The labor inspectorate is seized.

The degraded social climate within the organizing committee of the 2023 World Cup in France, and the questioning of its boss Claude Atcher in an investigation by The Teamwere not deleted during the General Assembly of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on Saturday July 2 in Marseille.

A “France-2023 progress report” was however on the agenda of this GA. But there was never any question of it during the more than three hours of debate, followed by videoconference by AFP. Asked, the FFR replied that the subject had been proposed “during the Agora of clubs” on Friday, without giving more details on what had been said.

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Claude Atcher did not appear at the GA. Seized by the Minister of Sports, the Labor Inspectorate launched an investigation at the headquarters of France-2023 after an article published on June 22 by the sports daily describing a “management by terror” implicated in particular the director general of the Groupement of public interest (GIP) France-2023, against a backdrop of burnout, resignations and anxiety attacks. A 62% shareholder of the GIP alongside the State (37%) and the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF, 1%), the FFR immediately convened the economic and social committee (CSE) of France-2023, at the term would have been decided the establishment of a green number “in order to guarantee an escalation of reports anonymously”, as well as a “social audit”.

Questioned on the evening of the publication of the investigation, Claude Atcher had not reacted, affirming only “to let the people responsible for seeking the truth do their job”.

Critics “more destructive”

In his speech on Saturday, the president of the FFR Bernard Laporte only alluded to criticisms “more systematic, sometimes infamous and accusatory, more destructive” to his meeting. But, he added, “it doesn’t matter”: “in our sport, we face it, we don’t get around it, we don’t whine through the media”.

The GA was an opportunity for the FFR and the National Rugby League (LNR) to present their new agreement, current over the period 2022-2027, and which was approved by 85.99% of the votes. “This ambitious agreement reflects a shared desire to place the players and teams of France in the best conditions as two major sporting events approach: the 2023 World Cup and Paris-2024”, welcomed the FFR in a communicated.

This agreement allows, in particular, as was the case this year, the coach of the Blues Fabien Galthié to benefit from a group of 42 players made available by their clubs during the international windows (summer and autumn tours, tournament Six Nations and World). Asked by a manager about a recent decision by the Versailles administrative court, ordering the FFR to communicate several accounting documents, Bernard Laporte replied: “You teach me.”

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Rugby World Cup 2023: labor inspection seized on the “social climate” at the organizing committee

In this judgment of June 23, revealed by The Team, the court ordered the FFR to communicate these documents “within three months”. In a separate file, Claude Atcher compares in court in September, just like Bernard Laporte, within the framework of suspicions of favoritism around the sponsorship of the XV of France. He will be tried for “concealment of breach of trust”, “abuse of corporate assets” and “concealed work by concealment of activity”.

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