Bernard Laporte points out the laxity of the FFR and the absence of a “head of delegation”

Bernard Laporte points out the laxity of the FFR and the absence of a “head of delegation”
Bernard Laporte points out the laxity of the FFR and the absence of a “head of delegation”

Former president of the French Rugby Federation, Bernard Laporte was the guest of BFMTV this Wednesday to react to the arrest of Oscar Jegou and Hugo Auradou, accused of sexual assault in Argentina. He deplores in particular the absence of “framework”, targeting – without naming him – his successor at the head of the Federation, Florian Grill.

French rugby in turmoil. At the beginning of the week, Oscar Jegou and Hugo Auradoutwo players from the French XV, were arrested in Argentina following a complaint of sexual assault. The alleged events took place on the night of Saturday 6 to Sunday 7 July in Mendoza, after the victory of the Blues against Argentina (28-13).

This Wednesday, Bernard Laporte, former president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), reacted to this affair on BFMTV. “We must first have a word for the alleged victim but we must also respect the presumption of innocence,” he first indicated. “I have contacts and everything and its opposite is said about this affair. If the facts are proven, it is very serious, unspeakable, intolerable. But let’s let the investigation take place and we will know what happened. I am also thinking of the mothers of these two players, who must be terrified. But let’s let the investigation take place.”

The former president of the FFR then deplored the lack of a “framework” around the French XV, targeting – without naming him – his successor at the head of the Federation, Florian Grill.

“From the outside, it seems like a bit of a cacophony.”

“Should the world of rugby question itself? Of course it must be questioned, especially when several episodes occur. Not all rugby players are like that. But the French team is the example of our sport, so the players must be exemplary. But who was the head of the Federation delegation to this team? I don’t think there is one. However, the institution must be represented by an elected official. The president arrived later, but there always needs to be a head of delegation who frames things, who sets up internal regulations. I was the coach of the French team for eight years, it was the job of Jo Maso, who was the elected official of the Federation and who set up this framework. So that doesn’t mean that the risk doesn’t exist, but when the institution is represented, a framework is set up and we avoid this kind of tragedy.”

“It’s too much, that’s obvious. But once again, you have to live inside to know what’s going on,” insisted Bernard Laporte on BFM TV. “What Jaminet did is unacceptable. But why can these players go out and do so much stupid stuff? Why isn’t there a framework where they are told ‘you’re wearing the French team jersey, you represent France abroad, so you have to have an exemplary outfit’? From the outside, it seems to be a bit of a cacophony, we have to tell it like it is.”

On Tuesday, Florian Grill, president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), held a press conference in Buenos Aires following the accusations of sexual assault against the two players of the French XV. “We don’t have all the details yet since we just arrived in Buenos Aires with Jean-Marc Lhermet (vice-president, editor’s note). If the facts are proven, they are incredibly serious,” he said.

According to the local press, the alleged assault on the young woman took place in the hours following the match against the Argentine national team at the Diplomatic Hotel in Mendoza, where players and staff were staying. According to the spokesperson for the Mendoza prosecutor’s office, the two players could face up to 20 years in prison.

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