His presence was scrutinized. Would the former president of the FFR, who won the organization of the World Cup by France, be in the stands of the Stade de France to attend the opening match between the Blues and the All Blacks? The answer is negative.
According to our information, the new management of the French Federation discussed at length the possibility of inviting Bernard Laporte or not. If the new boss of French rugby, Florian Grill, was not against it, some members of his team weighed all their arguments to oppose it. And win your case.
Currently awaiting his appeal judgment (he was sentenced to two years in prison at first instance) for suspicion of favoritism and corruption, the resigning president of the FFR was therefore not at the Stade de France for the launch of what he describes as "his" World Cup. A sanction which does not go in the direction of “appeasement” and the outstretched hand advocated by Florian Grill.
The latter had justified this non-invitation to the microphone of Europe 1 a few days before the opening match. “I like it when we settle our debts. Bernard Laporte will be very willingly invited by us, by the FFR, provided that he has paid what he owes us (reimbursement of legal fees for his trial, estimated at 150,000 euros, Ed). We make it a prerequisite. It is a matter of common sense. This is the money of amateur rugby, of everyday clubs. I do not find it normal that the FFR paid the lawyer's fees for a trial that did not concern them. And to insist on this point. “If Fabien Galthié tells me 'I would like to have Bernard Laporte because it's a plus for rugby', I say no problem because it's Fabien's decision. But there is this prerequisite…”
"An example of mediocrity: the president of the FFR did not invite Bernard Laporte to the Stadium on Friday without whom the Cup would not take place in France and our XV would not have been one of the big favorites", commented the lawyer for Bernard Laporte, Maître Jean-Pierre Versini.
According to our information, Bernard Laporte, on the other hand, attended the clash between England and Argentina in the stands of the Vélodrome stadium in Marseille on Saturday evening.