This investigation was opened on November 29 after a report from the Regional and Interdepartmental Directorate for the Economy, Employment, Labor and Solidarity (Drieets) the same month and entrusted to the Brigade for the Suppression of Delinquency against Persons (BRDP), said the prosecution.

The Atcher affair began in June following an article in the sports daily revealing anonymous testimonies reporting an "extremely degraded work climate (...)" within the Public Interest Group (GIP) France 2023, with a "deep social malaise" among the staff.

There would be burn-outs, resignations and anxiety attacks under the influence of a "management by terror" exercised by Claude Atcher and his chief of staff.

The Ministry of Sports had immediately decided to seize the labor inspectorate on "worrying elements".

On August 29, this ministry announced the layoff "as a precaution" of Claude Atcher for the time necessary for the closure of the investigation by the Labor Inspectorate.

L'Equipe argues Thursday that this report, which gave rise to the report, "further darkens the story of the absolutist management" of Claude Atcher.

The daily also evokes a 121-page summary "nourished by a hundred testimonies" from the consulting firm Addeo, mentioned by the elected staff of the GIP 2023, "just as damning": it would confirm "the excesses of a self-centered power, understaffing, overwork, sick leave..."

On October 11, less than a year before the start of the World Cup, Claude Atcher was officially dismissed from his post.

In a press release sent to AFP on November 29, the person concerned denounced "judicial and media harassment".

"We call on the judiciary to be extremely vigilant in the face of this case, which ignores the most basic rights of defense and jeopardizes the reputation of a man in the absence of evidence," the statement continued.

Contacted Thursday, his lawyers did not respond immediately.

© 2023 AFP