Bernard Laporte, president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), has worked as a player, coach and even minister of government, overcoming controversy and setbacks to become one of the most powerful figures in the sport.
However, the 58-year-old is now facing his biggest challenge as he tries to stay in his post after being convicted of corruption on Tuesday and given a two-year suspended prison sentence. Faced with a challenge. Mr. LaPorte said he would appeal.
Court upholds a series of marketing decisions in favor of close friend and Montpellier rugby club owner Mohed Altrad, in exchange for a €180,000 ($191,000) image licensing deal that Laporte never actually executed. I decided that I did.
Altrad was given an 18-month suspended sentence and a fine of €50,000.
A court has banned Laporte from holding the rugby post for two years, pending his appeal.
Still, LaPorte has stepped down from his other high-profile post as vice-president of World Rugby, at least for the time being, awaiting review by the ethics officer of the sport’s global governing body.
The two posts put Laporte at the heart of the 2023 World Cup organization and helped secure it for France.The competition will begin in Paris at the beginning of September.
Laporte has a reputation as the rugby world’s ‘Mr.
He has a colorful and varied background, from sports to business to politics.
In rugby, he was a title-winning scrum-half and then a successful coach, leading France to the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2002 and 2004.
A prominent figure in France, he has appeared in advertising campaigns for everything from hams to dog food.
In politics, he put up posters for socialist François Mitterrand’s presidential campaign, but later served in the right-wing government under former prime minister François Fillon.
LaPorte was no politician. After being dismissed from his duties in 2009, he lashed out at some of his former colleagues.
“They didn’t consider me part of their world,” he told Paris Match in 2009.
“I lacked sophistication and networking. I simply didn’t exist.
The hard lessons I learned in my two years as a pastor have paid off. Because it made the corridors of power work more effectively in the world he knew, rugby.
Laporte was named the most influential person in the sport by acclaimed magazine Rugby World.
– “Thrive in Adversity” –
His brusque demeanor and his sometimes colorful language with a strong southwestern French accent can rub people the wrong way.
However, his demonic demeanor may stem from the brush with death.
After a car accident in 1985, he fell into a coma for a week.
“It’s the most important moment in my life,” he said.
Ignoring the doctor’s words that he would never play rugby again, he showed a strong determination. Six years later, he lifted the French league crown as captain of his Begles at Bordeaux.
LaPorte drives people as much as he drives himself.
As the club’s coach, he benefited from two wealthy owners, but with results.
He led the Stade Français from third place to the 1998 French title. He then led Toulon to his third consecutive European Cup win and his 2014 domestic title.
“Bernard never lets things go, he always says what he thinks and never sugar coats,” said former Toulon owner Murad Boudjeral.
“He’s not someone you can bribe or get on your side.
“He’s not the kind of bird that can be locked in a cage.”
This sober story of allying with the ruthless people has also paid off as president of the Federation.
He spearheaded France’s shock victory over South Africa to host the 2023 World Cup.
Overcoming the odds is Laporte’s specialty, according to Federation Vice-President Serge Simon, one of his oldest friends dating back to his Bordeaux title-winning days.
“He grows in adversity. He builds his personality around it,” Simon said.
https://www.expatica.com/fr/general/laporte-tarnished-french-rugby-supremo-who-relishes-challenges-841480/ Laporte: French rugby supremo defiled to enjoy the challenge