Blanco and Skrela unlabeled candidates for the Steering Committee

Serge Blanco (left) and Jean-Claude Skrela. JB Autissier / Panoramic

INFO FIGARO The opposition to the Laporte team, Ovale Ensemble, will not present these two personalities for the elections of the Steering Committee, at the end of May. Defections and new alliances fuel the suspense with, in the background, the election of the new president of the FFR, on June 12.

The big maneuvers are underway. From May 24 to 26, the partial elections of the Steering Committee of the French Rugby Federation will take place. Twelve seats are to be filled, to replace the 9 elected officials who resigned, at the beginning of December, from the opposition list Ovale Ensemble (led by Florian Grill), Bernard Laporte himself, also resigned, and two members of his team who had given up their functions several months ago (Pascal Papé and Fabrice Estebanez).

We remember that the team of the former president, Bernard Laporte, had then appointed the treasurer of the FFR, Alexandre Martinez, as interim president. Which will not appear on June 12 before the amateur clubs who will elect the new boss of the FFR (verdict announced on June 14). A new president who must come from the ranks of the Steering Committee. Hence the importance of these interim elections at the end of May.

Patrick Buisson official candidate of Camp Laporte

In both camps, we do and redo the accounts. If it is the amateur clubs who will elect Bernard Laporte’s successor until the end of 2024, he will have to govern with the approval of his management committee. That is 40 members. It is therefore necessary to have 21 seats to have free rein. With 26 elected members of the Laporte team, 12 positions to be filled and the two new representatives of the National League, the verdict seems to be a foregone conclusion. Not for Ovale Ensemble, which hopes for defections in the camp in place. “The situation is changing, there are a lot of tensions and the unit is cracking.assures us a source.

Their calculation? Obtain the twelve seats to be filled, benefit from the support of the two members from professional rugby and convince seven elected officials to change sides. Impossible ? No, but not won in advance. According to our information, some members of the Laporte team are actually considering defecting.

Some because they feel the tide is changing and are worried about the outcome of the new and recent visit by the General Inspectorate of Finance. Others because they were excluded from the “Restricted Federal Executive Office”, recently set up by the new strongmen of the FFR, Vice-President Serge Simon and his right-hand man Henri Mondino. They are seven in this case, including the most virulent, Alain Doucet.

Finally, there is the one who would have seen himself invested as a candidate for the presidency and who was rejected: Christian Dullin. The choice of Laporte and Simon indeed fell on Patrick Buisson, who formalized his candidacy this Thursday at the end of the day at AFP. Bernard Laporte had also recently received the two ambitious to attempt a conciliation. What if Dullin presented himself under his own banner, thus reshuffling the cards a little more? It would seem that the pressure paid off and he gave up that option.

No closed list but free candidates for the Laporte team

Faced with the difficulty of forming a close-knit team for these by-elections at the end of May (the deadline for applications is set for April 24), the Laporte clan has also decided, according to our information, not to present a closed list but only free candidates. This will maintain a certain vagueness because other personalities will present themselves through this bias. In particular two prominent former members of the Grill team: Serge Blanco and Jean-Claude Skrela.

The Oval Ensemble opposition list will indeed hold its General Assembly this Saturday in Castelnaudary (in the presence of Guy Novès, strong support) and will reveal, at the end of the day, its twelve candidates. Among which Blanco and Skrela will not feature. The reason ? Florian Grill and his close guard doubt their loyalty.

They felt betrayed by Jean-Claude Skrela’s press release stating that he had not been consulted before the collective resignation of the opposition in December. And recent rumors of an attempted rapprochement between the Laporte team and Serge Blanco have caused trouble. It remains to be seen, if these two men were elected at the end of May, to which team they would bring their votes. The big maneuvers we told you…



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