World Rugby deputy in tears after police release | Sunday Observer

World Rugby deputy in tears after police release

27 September, 2020
Bernard Laporte
Bernard Laporte

PARIS AFP: French rugby federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte broke down in tears on Thursday and vowed to return with renewed strength after he was released from police custody as part of an investigation into suspicions he favoured Top 14 club Montpellier

Laporte, who is also vice-chairman of World Rugby, is suspected of putting pressure on the appeals committee of the French league to reduce a disciplinary punishment against Montpellier in 2017.

The side’s billionaire owner Mohed Altrad and the chief organiser of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, Claude Atcher, as well as two senior FFR officials, were also freed from detention.

“The dialogue with the investigators finally convinced me. Despite the advanced investigations, with colossal resources, press campaigns which incessantly kept bringing up the same theories the case is empty,” Laporte wrote on Facebook.

At a news conference later Thursday, Laporte was in tears and had to stop for a few moments in order to compose himself.

“I slept very well last night. I will leave with strength, enthusiasm and conviction to help the amateur clubs who need it. We will win on October 3. I will put things right,” added the 56-year-old who is standing for re-election as FFR president with the result expected on October 3.