Florian Grill has been elected president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), the latter announced on Wednesday June 14. The president of the Oval list together won 58.14% of the vote against Patrick Buisson, current vice-president of the FFR in charge of amateur rugby.
Florian Grill, hitherto president of the Ile-de-France league and number one opponent of Bernard Laporte for several years, won a clear victory against someone close to the former president of the body.
The approximately 1,900 French clubs who participated in the electronic ballot were to elect the successor to Bernard Laporte, after his resignation on January 27. The former sports minister and coach of the XV of France had been found guilty of “passive corruption”, “influence peddling” and “illegal taking of interests” due to decisions taken in favor of the billionaire and owner of the club of Montpellier Mohed Altrad, with whom he had secret business ties. Sentenced in December 2022 to a two-year suspended prison sentence, a fine of 75,000 euros and a two-year ban on exercising any function related to rugby, Bernard Laporte appealed against this conviction, he therefore remains presumed innocent.
A bit of stability before the World Cup
Patrick Buisson had already been disowned in a referendum in January: the clubs had refused his appointment, on the proposal of Mr. Laporte, as delegate president of the FFR after the conviction of the former sports minister. This disavowal had also led to the resignation of Bernard Laporte, who had previously only set back.
Three months before the Rugby World Cup organized in France (September 8-October 28), this election represents a new start for the FFR. The newly elected president had, a few weeks ago, said he wanted to entrust his opponent with the task of completing the organization of the World Cup, because “it would be irresponsible to change a team three months before the event”.