Laporte resigns as French rugby president


French rugby was thrown into further turmoil just over seven months before the World Cup as Bernard Laporte resigned as president of the French rugby federation (FFR) on Friday.

“I can confirm Bernard Laporte’s resignation. I welcome this decision … which is a good thing for French rugby, for its values and for the future,” sports minister Amelie Oudea Castera told reporters.

Laporte stepped aside last month after being convicted of influence peddling and illegally acquiring assets.

Police questioned him on Tuesday about allegations of additional financial wrongdoing, which he denied.

The 58-year-old had given up his role as FFR president, meaning he could not take part in board meetings or sign official documents, after being convicted in mid-December, and suggested a temporary replacement in Patrick Buisson.

His proposal, however, was rejected on Thursday by the clubs’ presidents, who were asked by the federation to validate, or reject Laporte’s choice.

The members of Laporte’s opponents at the board of directors all resigned on Friday to trigger new elections.

France hosts the World Cup from Sept. 8 to Oct. 28.

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