Saint-Jean-de-Védas (France) (AFP)

The president of the French Rugby Federation Bernard Laporte assured, on the verge of tears, wanting to "leave with force" Thursday, the day after the end of his hearing in an investigation ordered by the national financial prosecutor.

"I slept very well last night. I will leave with strength, enthusiasm and conviction to help the amateur clubs who need it. We will win on October 3. I will put things right," a he briefly testified, alongside his vice-president Serge Simon, before cutting short the press conference scheduled for Saint-Jean-de-Védas (Hérault).

"It is not easy to be in custody. The same day in an article, he (his opponent to the election to the presidency Florian Grill, Editor's note) declared that I set the Federation on fire and blood. It's kicking a player down. If that's what his rugby values ​​are, he must leave our sport, "he lost his temper.

After speaking for three or four minutes, Laporte stopped, sobs in his voice.

"When I left Toulon, a club offered me one million euros a year for five years. I said no to 5 million euros ..." he said.

Before that, FFR N.2 Serge Simon, also involved in this affair, said he was delighted to have been heard by the investigators: "We are relieved because we have managed to explain. We now know that we have nothing to reproach ourselves with, ”he explained.

For two days, Bernard Laporte had been heard by the Economic Crime Repression Brigade (BRDE) before being released on Wednesday, like four other defendants, including the owner of the Montpellier club Mohed Altrad, also a sponsor. XV of France jersey.

This case comes in the last days of the campaign for the presidency of the FFR, where Laporte, 56, is seeking a second term on October 3 against his main opponent, Florian Grill.

In this case, the boss of French rugby is particularly suspected of having favored the MHR (Top 14) by intervening with the FFR's appeal committee to reduce sanctions against the club at the end of June 2017.

He has always defended himself, even if he admitted to having telephoned the president of the commission, Jean-Daniel Simonet on June 30.

© 2020 AFP