A fall for him. A pirouette for his clan. Bernard Laporte finally came to his senses by resigning this Friday morning from his post as president of the French Federation. Set back after his conviction at first instance for corruption and influence peddling on December 13 – he appealed and remains under trial -, disavowed by the vote of amateur clubs on Thursday, refusing to 51.06 % to validate the appointment of Patrick Buisson, his vice-president, as deputy president, the former coach of the Blues no longer had any room for maneuver.
« A hold-up, a diktat »
He resolved to resign after the meeting of the federal office, his close guard, Thursday evening at the headquarters of the FFR in Marcoussis (Essonne). His decision allows his team to stay in place, against the will of the Minister of Sports, present at the start of the steering committee this Friday morning, and to the great displeasure of the opposition which was campaigning for the organization of general elections within six weeks. Within the steering committee, those close to Laporte, a large majority (27 members out of 38), rejected this possibility altogether and relied on the statutes at their disposal to stay in place.
“I will respect their choice,” said the minister as she left the premises. “It’s a hold-up, a diktat”, proclaimed the opponents who all resigned, in the wake of their chef Florian Grill. They were followed in their approach a little later in the afternoon by the two representatives of the National League, René Bouscatel, president of the LNR and Didier Lacroix, president of the Toulouse Stde.
The Laporte governance, however contested as proved by the result of the referendum, will therefore continue on its way for many more months. First step, the appointment of an interim president. Tuesday, or Wednesday, the federal office will meet and ratify all resignations. Everyone within the office can declare themselves, then the steering committee will choose a candidate from among them. Two names stand out. The general treasurer, Alexandre Martinez, seems to hold the rope in front of the general secretary Christian Dullin.
The lucky winner will then lead the FFR to the general meeting, scheduled for June 29 to July 1, 2023 in Lille. The clubs will then elect a new president from the steering committee, without changing the latter. So necessarily close to Bernard Laporte since the opposition resigned en bloc. And the governance will remain in place until the next general elections which will be held at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025. With Bernard Laporte gone, his team will continue to lead the Federation.