Rugby: former RC Nîmes, at the heart of the Altrad-Laporte trial … who is Claude Atcher, laid off from France 2023

Rugby: former RC Nîmes, at the heart of the Altrad-Laporte trial ... who is Claude Atcher, laid off from France 2023

Claude Atcher was laid off as a precaution from the management of the 2023 Rugby World Cup disputed in France, this Monday, August 29. He is also at the heart of the Altrad-Laporte trial, which is due to open on September 7. Portrait of the 66-year-old man, born in Sauclières in Aveyron.

Following a survey published on June 22 by The Team, Claude Atcher was laid off as a precautionary measure for the management of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. A decision revealed by the Ministry of Sports to the sports daily. The reasons ? The 66-year-old businessman would be at the origin of the deleterious climate and “management by terror” in the offices of the Public Interest Group (GIP) France 2023.

Alerted by this situation, the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castera had seized the labor inspectorate and the ethics committee of the GIP. After a first report, a first sanction fell on Monday, August 29.

Judged in the Laporte-Altrad case from September 7 to 22

In turmoil for two months following these revelations, Claude Atcher will also appear before the 32nd Chamber of the Paris Criminal Court alongside Bernard Laporte, president of the French Rugby Federation, Serge Simon, vice-president of the FFR, Mohed Altrad , president of Montpellier Hérault Rugby and Benoît Rover, associate for twenty years of Atcher. A trial that will take place from September 7 to 22.

An Aveyronnais left to play in the Gard

Long before becoming a seasoned entrepreneur, the native of Sauclières (Aveyron), forty kilometers from Mont-Aigoual, became known for his rugby career. However, he discovered the oval ball late, at 21, when he was at the University of Toulouse when he was validating a master’s degree in psychology. “Rugby was a revelation. Three years later, I was in the France team”, recalled in Free lunch Claude Atcher after the appointment of France as organizer of the World Cup.

Before discovering the Blues (6 selections), the third line joined the Rugby Club Nîmes training center at the end of the 1970s. He also kept a house near Nîmes. After a few years, he left the Gard to join the capital, at the Racing Club de France (ex-Racing 92).

Businessman in sports

At 32, Claude Atcher hangs up his crampons. A last bet on the ground is launched at 40 years old, still at Racing, but the post-career is already underway. This son of a peasant grows into a businessman. He creates companies (Promosport Conseil, Score XV), joins a number of organizing committees for national and international sporting events.

Called by Bernard Lapasset, ex-president of the FFR, he led in 2003 the candidacy for the 2007 World Cup obtained by France. It is then on behalf of Japan that he will obtain that of 2019 before the appointment of 2023, alongside Bernard Laporte or the 2021 Women’s World Cup disputed in New Zealand.

In all these feats of arms, the man is divisive. His detractors blame him for a few cases, particularly around his marketing company Score XV.

The Marseille-Vitrolles fiasco

In 2007, the Aveyronnais launched a challenge. He founded Marseille Vitrolles rugby, a merger of Marseille Provence XV and RC Vitrolles. From a Federal club, he wants to make it a Pro D2 club, the second French division after the Top 14. In his quest, he brings in New Zealand star Jonah Lomu, a former All Black terror. Finally, the project is a fiasco and Claude Atcher leaves the presidency in 2010. “Marseille, it’s a terrible experience. I lost a lot of money and a project which, in the end, could not be realized” , he explained at the time.

In September 2020, Claude Atcher is placed in police custody with Bernard Laporte, Mohed Altrad, Serge Simon and Nicolas Hourquet for influence peddling. He will come out free after 48 hours in the Economic Crime Repression Brigade.

Almost two years later, an investigation into the management of GIP France 2023 reveals the management methods of the 66-year-old man, as well as possible acts of favoritism and abuse of social good.

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