Bernard Laporte set to resign as French rugby president after corruption charge

Former France men’s coach Laporte is appealing after being found guilty of corruption in December

Harry Latham-Coyle
Friday 27 January 2023 10:13 GMT
Bernard Laporte was previously vice-chair of World Rugby
Bernard Laporte was previously vice-chair of World Rugby (AFP via Getty Images)

Bernard Laporte is reportedly set to resign as president of the French rugby federation after being convicted of corruption.

The former France men’s coach had been under “self-suspension” from the role after confirming that he intended to appeal the two-year suspended sentence he received in December.

Laporte had suggested Patrick Buisson as a temporary replacement in the role, but Buisson’s appointment was rejected by a vote of club presidents on Thursday.

Amelie Oudea-Castera, the French sports minister, has now confirmed to reporters in France that the 59-year-old has resigned his position.

Laporte is also currently on self-suspension from his vice-chairmanship of World Rugby, the sport’s global governing body.

A French court found in December that Laporte had shown favouritism in awarding the national team’s shirt sponsorship to Mohed Altrad, the billionaire owner of Montpellier.

Laporte has been in charge of French rugby since 2016 after guiding the men’s national side to World Cup semi finals in 2003 and 2007 during an eight-year stint as head coach.

He ran unopposed for the position of World Rugby chair in July 2020.

Laporte’s resignation continues a disrupted build up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which will be held in France in September and October.

Claude Atcher was sacked as chief executive of the tournament’s organising committee last year after a labour investigation.

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