The 2023 World Cup is pitching: its general manager Claude Atcher was laid off on Monday August 29, just over a year before the start of the competition, “as a precaution” and ” with immediate effect “ due “alarming managerial practices”. The World Cup, scheduled in France from September 8 to October 28 and which is to begin with a clash between the Blues and the All Blacks, will it take place with or without Claude Atcher?
At the end of June, an investigation by the Labor Inspectorate was launched after an article in the sports daily The Team detailing a “deep social malaise” within the France-2023 Public Interest Group, the institution in charge of organizing the World Cup led by Claude Atcher.
“Alarming managerial practices”
In question, according to a report by the GIP ethics committee, “alarming managerial practices altering the functioning of the structure” and of “the state of suffering of a certain number of collaborators”. The Ministry of Sports has therefore decided to lay off Claude Atcher “as a precaution with immediate effect, for the time necessary to close the investigation currently being carried out by the labor inspectorate”.
The sexagenarian “will no longer be present or active, directly or indirectly, within, in the name and on behalf of the GIP throughout the period of the conservatory layoff”, says the press release from the Ministry of Sports. He will be temporarily replaced in his functions by the deputy director general of the GIP, Julien Collette. This decision was taken in concert with the French Rugby Federation and the French Olympic Committee, the two other shareholders of the organizing committee of the Mondial-2023.
A second open investigation and trial
World Rugby, the governing body of world rugby, told AFP that it “fully approved the conclusions and the action plan communicated by the French Ministry of Sports today on the subject of the social climate within the France-2023 organizing committee”.
In addition, the ministry statement adds, a second investigation has been opened: “A joint mission of the General Inspectorate of Finance and the General Inspectorate of Education, Sport and Research was initiated by the State to, on the one hand, analyze the existence of possible shortcomings to economic and financial probity or conflicts of interest and, on the other hand, to support the GIP in the organization of some of its strategic programs”.
The former third line will also be judged from September 7 with the president of the FFR Bernard Laporte and the boss of the Montpellier club Mohed Altrad in the context of suspicions of favoritism around the sponsorship of the XV of France. He will appear for “concealment of breach of trust”, ” misuse of corporate assets “ and of “concealed work by concealment of activity”. Just over a year from kick-off, the 2023 World Cup is faltering.