When French sport is upside down

The extension of Didier Deschamps’ coaching contract without internal consultation has caused controversy.


Former French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet also resigned after comments he made about Zinedine Zidane (“I have nothing to shake if he leads Brazil”). Internal consultations on Didier Deschamps’ coaching contract and, in particular, following allegations of moral and sexual harassment are the subject of a legal investigation.

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Among the rugby players, the president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), Bernard Laporte, resigned on January 27 after being convicted and sentenced to two years in prison (which he tried) on charges of passive corruption, influence peddling, embezzlement, concealment. after the misappropriation and misappropriation of corporate assets and the clubs rejection of his proposed successor (Patrick Buisson).

If the reasons are technically different, the result is the same: the two institutions are used to stagnant leaders and leader-following and do not want to provoke new elections where they may lose their positions and advantages.

The first echoes of the review of the activities of the Football Federation by Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra highlight shared responsibilities. No longer is the umbrella big enough to cover everyone. It is a global activity that is (again) called into question. Jean-Pierre Caraquillo, associate professor and founder of the law school, along with Francois Alaphilippe of the Center for Law and Economics in Limoges in 1978, says, “We are entering a period in which the system of organization of sports federations must be reconsidered.” sport (CDES), an observer and diligent player in French sports for several decades.

Ways to reform

How can we be sure that the same causes do not (almost) always produce the same effects? Three ways of reform for Jean-Pierre Caraquillo: ethics, professionalization and internal democracy. The first is about “know-how”, which has always been more important to me than know-how. “We are not committed enough to sportsmanship, the humility to relativize one’s place, and the generosity to care about others before leaning on one’s own navel.”

Bernard Laporte resigned on January 27.

Bernard Laporte resigned on January 27.

Archive Stephane Klein/ “Southwest”

Professionalization, pioneered by Limoges CDES by training in new sports professions, will allow high-responsibility positions in sports federations to open up to new profiles, rather than retirees or people who are comfortable enough. able to work full-time without a salary.

However, if the big “federations” like football, rugby, tennis or golf have enough funds to compensate their leaders, it is more difficult for the smaller ones, emphasizes Jean-Pierre Caraquillo. “The potential is there. Why not, for example, go on the hunt for companies with a mission? According to the charter, their purpose is not only to pay dividends to their shareholders, but also to promote ecology or sports. This could be a new source of income for some federations. »

A period of change

The necessary dose of internal democracy to be injected resonates directly with the current crises. The time of the powerful above ground and without the control of their loved ones seems to be over. “It takes four years to prepare the global project, and a second period to complete it. But after eight years you have to go! ” stings Jean-Pierre Caraquillo, who proposes the creation of an ethics body or, if it already exists, strengthening its power. “He could control himself with the power of discipline. »

Pierrette Barrot, president of the Charente-Maritime Region and member of the High Authority for Football, which is at the heart of Le Graët’s theme, said: “The current system, with the head and everyone behind it, no longer suits today’s society.”

To French sports now, opening the window to change periods.

(1) This crisis arose as a result of the conflict between President Brigitte Henriques and his Secretary General Didier Seminet.

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