French rugby boss Bernardi Laporte detained by the police

Bernard Laporte, a financial survey of France, is appointed to hold the World Cup.

Christopher Ena/AP

Bernard Laporte, a financial survey of France, is appointed to hold the World Cup.

The president of the French Rugby Federation, Bernard Laporte, was detained for questioning on Wednesday – the latest twist in the battles over allegations of financial wrongdoing.

In France, the national prosecutor’s office is investigating financial crimes and said police are questioning Laporte for suspected tax-related wrongdoing.

Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi, one of Laporte’s lawyers, said his client did not expect to be detained after he was brought in by police for questioning about a personal tax case.

This probe has been running since August 2020 and is still in its preliminary phase, as Laporte is not facing formal tax-related charges at this point. However, his legal problems mounted.

* French rugby boss Bernard Laporte suspended as corruption case escalates
* New Zealand Rugby urgently seeks Alrad meeting after All Blacks, Mother Black Ferns convicted of shirt corruption
* Sebastien Chabal denies Rugby World Cup ticket scandal allegations

Laporte agreed to be suspended as president of the French Rugby Federation next month while he separately fights a two-year suspended sentence on corruption charges. A Paris court found him guilty of passive corruption, influence peddling, taking illegal interest and misusing corporate assets.

Laporte also nominated himself as the vice-president of World Rugby.

Versini-Campinchi asked about Laporte’s detention, which comes amid an ongoing vote by French rugby clubs on whether to accept Patrick Buisson as interim president, with results expected on Thursday.

“It’s a shame, they don’t love Laporte,” the lawyer said, adding that the public can move the case through the media to influence the vote.

1 news

The NZR boss said there could only be one focus for the rugby body when discussing the sponsorship deal.

“The financial actors wanted to call Bernard Laporte in the vote for the appointment of the interim president of the federation,” he said.

Laporte Buisson took the interim presidency after being judged by the court. Laporte was also banned from holding any position in rugby for two years but had appealed the ruling, meaning the former French coach and sports minister could keep the French federation president.

At first Laporte refused calls to resign but – under pressure from French sports officials and the federation’s own ethics commission – he agreed to step down.

Laporte can remain in his position until the judicial appeal is finished, but he will no longer take part in the deliberations of the bodies or sign the obligations for the FFR, being in the meantime the current president of the federation.

Laporte’s judicial concerns have marred the preparation of the World Cup, which will kick off in France in September.

Another high-ranking official, former 2023 Rugby World Cup chief executive Claude Atcher, was fired last year following an investigation by French inspectors over his role in the running of the event.

Leave a Comment