As Le Figaro revealed it on Friday, the treasurer of the FFR was appointed this Wednesday interim president of the Federation. A candidacy which must still be ratified by a vote of the Steering Committee on Friday. Vote whose outcome is beyond doubt.
The French Rugby Federation will therefore be well represented by a president (interim), Sunday in Rome, for the debut of the Blues in the Six Nations Tournament, against Italy. As announced by Le Figaro as of Friday, it is Alexandre Martinez, close to the outgoing president and treasurer of the FFR for six years. His candidacy still needs to be ratified by a Steering Committee vote on Friday, but the outcome of the vote is in no doubt.
Back to the facts. Last Friday, Bernard Laporte, surrounded by business and disavowed by the clubs (who voted 51.06% no to appoint Patrick Buisson, a close friend of Bernard Laporte, as deputy president), had presented his resignation from the presidency of the FFR. In the process, the nine members of the opposition as well as the two representatives of the National Rugby League (LNR, which represents professional clubs) – its president René Bouscatel and that of Stade Toulousain, Didier Lacroix – also announced their resignation, following the request of the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.
Read alsoFFR: Bernard Laporte sacrifices himself to save his clan
But the other members of the majority on the steering committee had repeated that they did not intend to leave their posts, believing that they “have nothing to be ashamed of”. Thus, as announced by the director general of the FFR Laurent Gabbanini, a new federal office therefore met this Wednesday in order to “take note of all the resignations of the members of the steering committee” and to propose a candidate (necessarily from the Laporte clan) for the post of interim president of the FFR until the next general assembly, scheduled for June in Lille.
“Going to Italy with a real president”
As expected, Alexandre Martinez, general treasurer of the FFR, who was appointed after a vote of the steering committee. “That way we can go to Italy with a real president”had advanced the president of the Occitanie League, not resigning.
Who is Alexandre Martinez, treasurer of the FFR in office for six years and the first election of Bernard Laporte? Asked by Le Figaro this Tarnais, who for nine years had been the president of the Lavaur club (Amicale Sportive Vauréenne) of which he remained an honorary member, explained: “I am a cautious treasurer.” Aged 70, he is a former senior executive of Orange, one of the six major partners of the French Rugby Federation. He was also a consultant in organization and support for SMEs.
“They are in their ivory tower”
In our columns, Alexandre Martinez had mentioned the financial situation of the FFR before the re-election of Bernard Laporte. He showed himself “very optimistic” for the future years of the institution: “The 2023 World Cup is an event that will promote the growth of the number of licensees. And we place a lot of hopes on the future results of the XV of France. This team is already making our public react positively. We see the clearings coming.”
Read alsoFlorian Grill: “Let the FFR Steering Committee wake up from the nightmare they are causing French rugby to live through…”
The opposition to the Bernard Laporte clan, headed by Florian Grill, president of Ovale Ensemble, has not said its last word. In an interview at Figarothe president of the Ile-de-France League indeed appeals to the responsibility of the elected officials still in office who “are in their ivory tower. They have not understood that by defending their particular interests, they are not defending the general interest.. And to add: “We are not going to take the Bastille. Therefore, I appeal to the rational responsibility of each individual. After… Will Patrick Buisson or Alexandre Martinez, whom I consider to be rational, take over? And what is the real cohesion of this team?
“Let’s put aside the differences”
For Florian Grill, “in reality, they are Serge Simon (Vice-president of the FFR) and Christian Dullin (general secretary) who pull the strings, helped by Laurent Gabbanini (General manager). Which bothers me even more, because the general manager of the FFR, paid 100% by the clubs, should show him an exemplary neutrality. It is shocking that he invests so much…”
Before the vote of the clubs on the appointment of Patrick Buisson, Alexandre Martinez had called for the sacred union before the Six Nations and the World Cup in France, two competitions where the Blues are favorites. “It is not appropriate to change course with the Six Nations Tournament and the World Cup which are there. There is a time for everything, had he hammered in Noon Olympic . 2023 must be that of reason, serenity and unity. You don’t change a winning team, especially not on the eve of a crucial competition for our future and our history. The France team needs stability and continuity. Let’s put aside differences and focus on unity.This new episode of the tormented affair which agitates the FFR is far from having appeased the tensions which have lasted for years. And the election of Bernard Laporte.
#Rugby #Alexandre #Martinez #appointed #interim #president #FFR