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.



Tour de France: the Col du Granon, a challenge for the organization and the champions

To justify the choice of routes for the Tour de France, its director Christian Prudhomme often repeats: “We have to go where the sport takes us. » And this Wednesday, July 13, the sport takes climbing aces to the Col du Granon, perched at an altitude of 2,400 m. A rediscovery, the Grande Boucle reconnecting with the monster winding through the heart of the Hautes-Alpes for the first time since 1986, its previous and only visit.

These thirty-six years of scarcity of the “Ogre of Briançonnais”, Stéphane Boury is hardly surprised. “It’s really very complicated to land up there”, summarizes the person in charge of arrivals within the organizing company ASO. However, he knows a lot about it, the former amateur runner converted to ASO at the turn of the century and promoted to kingpin at the end of the stage in 2016. With an almost military discipline, he participates in the improbable roaming of the great circus cyclist, at the head of a team of 80 people on a war footing from 6 a.m. to channel 1,200 cars and 120 38-tonne heavy goods vehicles to each race terminal, not to mention the public always very present to greet the winner of the day.

“It’s a cul-de-sac, with very few places available”

This crazy crowd is unthinkable at the top of the Granon. “It’s a cul-de-sac, with very few places availableexplains Stéphane Boury. So no stands, VIP spaces, the bare minimum authorized to ensure retransmission, a few very rare cars and trucks. The team buses will be waiting at the foot of the pass. For four years, in this configuration, the riders have been equipped with armbands and whistles, to stand out in the crowd, and they have been cycling down. Normally, everything goes well. I watch over it with mad energy. It is my mission. »

Limiting access is not just a matter of security. Environmental concerns are also essential on a site registered in the European network of Natura 2000 protected areas. “The Col du Granon is our most sensitive area this yearcomments Karine Bozzacchi, project manager at ASO. The mountain is always problematic, and the hardest part is having the right people in the right place. For the Granon, we had very good contacts with the management of the Hautes-Alpes territories and the Natura 2000 project manager, and we found solutions. We have a whole range of measures established with Biotope, a firm of naturalist experts. A botanist goes upstream to carry out inventories. We send material to protect from trampling many forbidden spaces. »

leave no trace

The passage of the Tour must leave no trace. At the very top of the Granon, a 200 m strip of tar2, posed for the occasion, must very quickly disappear. On the edges of the very narrow road, forbidden to motorhomes since July 4 and where access on foot and by bike is limited to the morning before the race, the call for responsibility is in order. “Over the past ten years, the public has nevertheless greatly changed its behaviorcontinues Karine Bozzacchi. Most often, people leave with their waste. »

This was not really the case in 1986, when a huge crowd had accompanied, throughout the last kilometers in the lunar landscape, the heroes of the time, including an exhausted Bernard Hinault who had to abandon his yellow tunic to the American Greg LeMond, future winner of the Tour. Christian Bourbon remembers it with emotion, at the time a young France Telecom technician who had helped lay a 10 km cable across the mountain to provide telecommunications.

Today president of the ASPTT Briançon club which organizes the Granon Challenge every August, a hill climb launched in 1978 by Louison Bobet, he plans an intense spectacle on a terrain he knows perfectly: “It’s a very irregular pass, and that’s its main difficultyhe warns. It is impossible to have a cruising speed like in the Izoard and the Galibier. The slope is terrible on the end, which should also be crushed by the heat. »

The onslaught of the sun is everything that Tadej Pogacar hates. Is he risking his yellow jersey on the Granon, like Hinault in the past? Christian Bourbon is wary of comparisons. “In 1986, the Col de Vars, Izoard and Granon sequence was more difficult, especially with 190 km of racing, concludes the expert. There, over 150 km, there is certainly the Telegraph and the Galibier, but a long descent before the Granon which allows you to recover. The runners will still have strength at the foot of the Granon. There will be sports. » The exact justification for choosing the Granon.


Finally a triumphant escape

Four climbs were on the program for this short tenth stage (148 km) between Morzine and Geneva. A gentle approach to the Alps, a day promised to adventurers. Before the big explanations to come, they are about twenty to be allowed the beauty about halfway through. Classic breakaway up to 37 km from the finish when the race was interrupted by a handful of demonstrators warning against global warming. Twelve short minutes of rest, and the breakaway continued by accumulating the minutes ahead of the peloton. His men will not give up and it is the Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen who wins the half-wheel bet. In a good move, the German Lennard Kamna saw himself in yellow for a while, but without hurrying, Tadej Pogacar kept his tunic for a few seconds.


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Sentenced for ‘carrying’ Chinese people entering illegally

Ho Chi Minh CityNguyen Thi Tuyen Tien, 31 years old, allowed 20 Chinese people to stay illegally at the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic.

On April 21, Tien was sentenced to 3 years in prison by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City Organizing others to stay in Vietnam illegally.

Defendant Nguyen Sy Xuan Hieu, 28 years old; Nguyen Thanh Minh, 20 years old, was sentenced to one year and six months in prison as an accomplice.

Defendant Tien and his accomplices in court. Image: Thao Mi

Responding to the jury today, Tien said that from 2014 to the end of 2019 he did business in China with Xiao Fen’s help. Around March 2021, after Tien returned home, Xiao Fen called to pick up some Chinese people who crossed the border into Vietnam and moved to Ho Chi Minh City to stay.

On March 8, 2021, Tien asked Hieu and Minh to lead them to two apartments in District 7, to buy food and water. A week later, the police discovered 5 Chinese people illegally staying here.

Tien also admitted that he had previously organized two other groups of 16 Chinese to stay illegally in the apartment. All living expenses for them are paid for by her, no fees. “In the past, the defendant was helped by Xiao Fen, so now he accepts this person’s request to repay the favor,” Tien said.

Authorities expelled the Chinese group back home after being discovered.

Thao Mi



Women’s football: France formalizes its candidacy for the organization of Euro 2025

The French Football Federation (FFF) announced on Thursday February 3 its candidacy to organize the 2025 UEFA European Women’s Championship.

→ VIDEO. The history of women in football

“This candidacy will be based in particular on the success of the organization of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019”, specifies the FFF in a press release. The French team then reached the quarter-finals, beaten by the United States who had won the cup. France, host for the men of the final stages of the 1998 World Cup and the 1984 and 2016 European Championships in recent history, has however never organized the Women’s Euro.

The host country will be designated in December 2022

“This file will mobilize all of French football, amateur and professional, the territories, and will highlight France’s experience and quality of reception in terms of the organization of major events”adds the FFF.

→ PORTRAIT. The footballer Wendie Renard, defense of change

The host country for the competition will be designated in December 2022 by the UEFA Executive Committee. France is currently in competition with Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine and the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark) who have made a joint application.

France’s candidacy is one more sign of the growing success of women’s football. “For 10 years, the recognition and attractiveness of women’s football in France and around the world have continued to grow”welcomes the FFF.