“We need to wipe the slate clean”…can FFR’s board still hang on?

This time there will be no scandal. Two years after his visit to Rome for France’s XV, which sparked huge controversy in the midst of a Covid-19 episode (based on a disrespectful health bubble and casually worn mask), Bernard Laporte will be a little quieter. On Sunday, the first match of the Blues in the Six Nations Tournament is in Italy. Away from the eternal city, away from Fabien Galthié and his players, away from responsibilities. Far from it all, actually.

But the now former president of the French Rugby Federation, who announced his resignation on Friday, will still be remembered a bit by French players. “Bernard is a character that we all appreciate within the group, recognized Thibaud Flament at the press conference on Saturday. We are waiting for what will happen. “Stade Toulouse’s international second line is a bit like everyone else: in uncertainty.

Where is the “Unity and Unity”?

Because the appointment of Bernard Laporte’s Patrick Buisson at the helm of the FFR was rejected by the majority of amateur clubs on Thursday – leading to the resignation of the former Stade Français and Toulon coach – the federation is gone. to resuscitation. When he left, Bernie did indeed call for “the unity and reunification of French rugby” in a message posted on his Facebook account, but clearly the opposite is happening.

Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Cestera, perhaps wishing for the “resignation of the management committee” in the process, came to nothing. While nine members of the opposition, as well as two representatives of the National Rugby League (LNR), have returned their bibs, supporters of the former FFR president are still holding their ground. And don’t give up. “Not at all,” FFR general secretary Christian Dullin said Monday at France Bleu when asked if the management committee would resign. Before I explain:

The decision made on Friday morning was the decision of one man, the president. Since the beginning of this work, we have strictly followed the texts and rules and regulations of the Federation, we have followed all the recommendations of the commission of ethics and professional conduct. (…) The contradictory aspect of the minister is that he tells us “Bravo, thank you, but you have to go”, there is a small inconsistency at this level. »

“The management committee should no longer cling to the branches”

Speaking of “texts and rules”, it should be noted that people close to Bernard Laporte have decided to follow article 21 of the charter, which provides for the appointment of an interim president, and not article 15, which provides for the appointment of an interim president. general resignation of the new management after six weeks. On Wednesday, the federal office will therefore propose that the management committee remain an interim president, who will be confirmed on Friday. This new president will hold office until the next general assembly, scheduled for June, when the clubs will convene to elect a new president. The World Cup held in France is less than six months away.

Admit that the timing is not ideal, the sports minister said in an interview with Midi Olympique on Sunday. And until then, I don’t see how the management committee can run the Federation on all the necessary grounds, with several resignations, consultation with clubs that no longer have counter-powers and are just negative in the background. »

The decision of the steering committee to remain in place is incomprehensible to US Colomiers and UCPR (Union of Professional Rugby Clubs) president Alain Carré, who joined 20 Minutes: “At some point everything has to stop, it’s nothing. It’s possible for a longer time. The steering committee should no longer cling to the branches. Today “We have to wipe the slate clean, we have to have elections, real elections to move forward. There, it’s taking too long. All the professional clubs are in the same position.”

“Responsible and proud people”

Florian Grill, head of the opposition list and therefore leaving the management committee, is also campaigning for new elections: “I think this is completely unacceptable. [de ne pas démissionner]. This is an insult to a minister who has clearly stated his preference for a general election. We are in time to have a real election that will calm rugby, put the World Cup on the best footing and keep our Blues. »

Because while all these fine people argue, it’s the French rugby organization that suffers. Christian Dullin believes that if the steering committee resigned, “there would be no election for six weeks.” And what do we do in six weeks? The World Cup to prepare for, the Six Nations Tournament and 1,900 amateur clubs playing every weekend. And this is one of the reasons why we do not resign, because we take our responsibilities upon ourselves. We are responsible and proud people. »

Athlete in the background

For his part, Alain Carré believes that the work with the FFR is complicated as it is: “Despite the resignation of two representatives of the LNR, they say that the discussions are ongoing, that there is nothing to break at this level. but it seems difficult to me. We can still wonder what the NRL and Federation relationship will be like. Things may be moving forward for the rugby world, but when you know the person you’re talking to on the phone wants you to put your mandate back on the table, it’s definitely not going to go well. »

Colomiers’ manager said: “In the interests of French rugby, he hopes to move on quickly. We’ll win away on Friday, that’s all right. But the partners told me about the match for twenty seconds and then it’s just business. Our hopes are 50 points at the Stade Français collected, but instead of telling me, “What we’re doing now is great,” we’ll talk to me about it… It’s not good anymore. “France XV’s victory in Italy on Sunday will not forget all this.

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