Rugby: an open investigation into the management of the 2023 World Cup organizing committee

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) indicated on Wednesday, November 9, that a preliminary investigation had been opened in early October into the management of the public interest group (GIP) France-2023, responsible for organizing the Rugby World Cup. , confirming information from the Team. A search was underway on Wednesday morning at the headquarters of GIP France-2023, the organizing committee also indicated. The PNF confirmed carrying out searches at various locations.

The investigation was opened for favouritism, influence peddling, corruption and any other related offence, following a report from the General Inspectorate of Finance and the General Inspectorate of Education, Sport and the research. The investigations were entrusted to the Paris Research Section.


According to the team, “the criminal investigation is interested in these possible personal expenses borne by the GIP 2023, in certain past contracts and also in alleged irregularities linked to the ticketing of the 2023 World Cup”. At the end of June, the sports daily had published a long survey relating the malaise at work due to “management by terror” of the former managing director Claude Atcher.

Immediately afterwards, the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra had requested referral to the Labor Inspectorate as well as to the ethics committee of the GIP, in which the French Rugby Federation (FFR) has a majority (more than 60%) and the minority state.

“Alarming managerial practices”

The submission of the report of the ethics committee this summer, mentioned “alarming managerial practices”. This had led the Ministry of Sports in early September, in concert with the FFR and the French Olympic Committee, which also sits on the GIP, to lay off Claude Atcher as a precautionary measure pending the investigation by the Labor Inspectorate. . He was finally removed from his position as general manager of the organizing committee on October 11, less than a year before the start of the competition.

In addition, a joint mission of the General Inspectorate of Finance and the General Inspectorate of Higher Education and Research has been working since this summer on ” possible breaches of economic and financial probity or conflicts of interest” within the GIP. According to the Ministry of Sports, “the report was made by the two inspections on the base” of their interim report. Both services continue to work.



National Olympic Committee: Brigitte Henriques, quiet determination

She was the favorite, and she won it without a hit. Brigitte Henriques won in the first round of the elections for the presidency of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF), collecting 57.87% of the 1,022 votes called to vote on Tuesday, June 29. They are well ahead of the other three candidates: the former judoka Thierry Rey, his main challenger, won only 19.26% of the vote, just ahead of the co-president of the Federation sportive et gymnique du travail Emmanuelle Bonnet-Ouladj (16.05% ), the former world water skiing champion Patrice Martin bringing up the rear (6.82%).

The current vice-president of the French Football Federation in a way embodied continuity, she who had already held the vice-presidency of the institution alongside Denis Masseglia since 2017. At 50, she became the first woman to take thus the head of the tricolor Olympic movement. Did this parameter prove to be essential in the final choice? The president of the French Football Federation Noël Le Graët, one of his most fervent supporters, on the contrary liked to point out the opposite: “It’s not easy for a woman to get to this job”, he commented, praising his essential qualities, “Work and intelligence”.

A victory dedicated to all women

Brigitte Henriques in any case hurried to dedicate her victory to all women ” to whom I mean that we must dare to apply, and access positions of responsibility, “we can do it” “. True, with only 14 women presidents in the 108 sports federations of the CNOSF, diversity is still far from reigning in the world of sports leaders. We still have to work together, and Brigitte Henriques knows something about it.

Finding her place, clinging to her passion, this is the story of her sporting life when she decided, at the age of 12, to put on crampons. Until then, she was hitting the leather with her five brothers, but she very quickly liked to go further by joining the Poissy club, one of the pioneering clubs of women’s football in the 1980s. At the time, they were not not many in the field, and his parents are not particularly happy. But Brigitte, yes. Football, she loves, like the atmosphere with the girlfriends. She therefore pursued her at Juvisy, the flagship club of the D1 at the time. Brigitte Henriques will be three times champion of France (1994, 1996 and 1997) in these times when wages are leveling off.

In the United States, she discovers the importance of women’s “soccer”, and understands that France is well behind. In fact, when she also wears the blue jersey (from 1988 to 1997), she wins peasants. Even if the essential is not there, it is a bit annoying. So when, after having coached for a few years, she was offered by Noël Le Graet the post of general secretary of the FFF, in charge of the development of women’s football, she did not miss the boat. The plan to feminize football launched in 2012, she will be the absolute champion. In his own way, with determination, but without rushing things.

Take your time to do well

To those who regret the slowness of progress, she often repeats the figures: in ten years, the graduates went from 50,000 to over 200,000, and the leaders from 25,000 to 37,000. She also defends the structuring of the elite. , even if some are worried about too slow a professionalization. Brigitte Henriques remains faithful to her manners: taking her time to do well.

She should apply the formula at the head of the CNOSF, even if she is aware that one should not dawdle too much either because an essential appointment is looming: the Games in Paris in 2024. In the 121 proposals that made up its program , included in particular the request to the government for a solidarity fund over the period 2022-2024 to allow the federations to gradually return to their pre-pandemic situation.

Making one’s voice heard will be one of the major objectives of his term of office. Because the Olympic movement as a whole suffers today from a lack of support more than felt, the health crisis accentuating the feeling that sport is hardly considered essential. Gone are the days when the spirited Nelson Paillou, enthusiastic president of the CNOSF from 1982 to 1993, dreamed of making the voices of millions of sportsmen in France heard very loudly to influence the government. Brigitte Henriques knows that on this front too, the expectations are numerous, the illusions much lower. Carry and convince the skeptics, she knows how to do it. The ball is in his court.



Thomas Bach re-elected for four years at the head of the International Olympic Committee

At the 137e session of the International Olympic Committee, held by videoconference, the German Thomas Bach was re-elected for a new four-year term as President of the IOC, which he has been leading since 2013. A few months before the Tokyo Summer Games (23 July-8 August) upset by the health crisis, the 67-year-old Bavarian was renewed almost unanimously, with 93 votes for and one against, while four IOC members abstained. Unless there is a change in the statutes of the body, it will have to hand over in 2025.

→ EXPLANATION. Why keep the Tokyo Olympics without foreign spectators?

The former Olympic fencing champion should have run for this second term in Athens, in the wake of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics supposed to celebrate the country’s reconstruction after the 2011 tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear accident. But the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the postponement of the Olympic high mass for one year, and the arrival of variants, more contagious, has since prevented any relaxation of health precautions.

“No reason to doubt that the ceremony will be held well on July 23”

“Tokyo remains the best prepared host city in Olympic history and, for now, we have no reason to doubt that the opening ceremony will be held well on July 23”, nevertheless assured the leader. “The question is not whether the Games will take place, but how”, hammered Thomas Bach, forced to convince each exit for months that the Olympics will not turn to the gigantic source of contamination.

→ PORTRAIT. Seiko Hashimoto, new president of the Tokyo Olympic Games Committee

For him, the multiple international competitions organized since summer 2020, “Without vaccination” while some of the participants in the Games may be vaccinated, “Prove” that such tournaments can take place “While preserving the health of all”.

More broadly, the session approved unanimously by voters plus four abstentions the results of its “Agenda 2020”, a roadmap adopted in 2014, of which “85%” of the proposals have been implemented. To the assets of the manager, long-term securing of the interests of the IOC, of ​​its financial resources for the organization of the Olympic Games, threatened by the scarcity of candidatures and the explosion of costs. On the other hand, each edition of the Games has been marked by controversy, in particular the soap opera of Russian cheating in 2014, 2016 and 2018, pushing the IOC to encourage the centralization of doping tests by the young International Control Agency.