Called into question by an article in L’Equipe on the working atmosphere that reigns within the organizing committee of the 2023 World Cup, Claude Atcher is also the subject of a portrait in the Canard Enchaîné, which returns including the upcoming trial of several French rugby leaders.

Bad week for Claude Atcher. The general manager of the GIP 2023, the committee responsible for organizing the 2023 World Cup in France, is questioned by L’Equipe for the working atmosphere that reigns within this structure. Many testimonies evoke insults, humiliations, employees in total moral and physical exhaustion.

In a press release, the GIP did not deny the information from L’Equipe, but was content to recall the context: the approach of a major event, and the objectives that go with it. ” The strict and rigorous planning that these constraints make necessary is likely to generate discomfort for some employees, who may, in this context, feel under pressure”, is it written in the press release. The Team noted that the word “discomfort” was very weak to discuss the situation.

“You look for me, you will find me”

At the same time, still on Wednesday, Atcher was also the subject of a rather gratinated portrait in the columns of Le Canard Enchaîné, where he is presented as “damned soul” by Bernard Laporte. The article includes an anecdote, told by Florian Grill, former opponent of Laporte in the race for the presidency of the FFR. In 2017, Grill, then president of the Ile-de-France Rugby League, asked a steering committee what the relationship was between Score XV, Atcher’s company, and the FFR. Laporte had kicked into touch, and Atcher had come to see Grill after the meeting to put a little pressure on him: “You are looking for me, you will find me, they have been looking for me for 30 years, we have never found! »

On trial with Laporte, Simon and Altrad

Later in the article, Le Canard Enchaîné also comes back to the trial to be held in September at the criminal court, where Claude Atcher, Bernard Laporte, Serge Simon (vice-president of the FFR) and Mohed Altrad (president of Montpellier, and above all the main sponsor of French rugby) are summoned. The satirical weekly describes a trial “never seen in the annals” of French sport, and lists the subjects that should be addressed: abuse of corporate assets, concealment of abuse of corporate assets, concealed work by concealment of activity.

Le Canard Enchaîné notes that the government has not reacted to this trial, which nevertheless concerns the main leaders of French rugby, while the State partly finances the Public Interest Group (62% FFR, 37% State, 1 % CNOSF) for the 2023 World Cup. According to a club executive, the reason is as follows: “Atcher and Laporte were protected by (Jean) Castex, former interministerial delegate for major sporting events. » Jean Castex was also president of the National Sports Agency (ANS) until July 2020, before being appointed Prime Minister by Emmanuel Macron.