— Published 30 November 2022

Claude Atcher poses as a victim

Claude Atcher is not giving up. The former director general of the 2023 Rugby World Cup organising committee in France, dismissed last October for his “alarming managerial practices“, seems determined to fight back. Silent since his dismissal, he has published a press release through his lawyers in which he claims to be a victim of an attack. “Claude Atcher is the target of a judicial and media harassment that has not stopped growing since June,” the document said. “He was the victim of an abusive termination of his employment contract notified on 10 October last year, for an alleged reason of ‘moral harassment’, at the end of a sham procedure and a report by the labour inspectorate commissioned by the Minister of Sport, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.” According to his lawyers, the former head of France 2023 has taken the matter to the industrial tribunal to “contest both the procedure and the reason for the termination of his employment contract and to obtain respect by the GIP of his legal and contractual rights“. Claude Atcher’s lawyers argue that the procedure that led to his dismissal was “marred by serious irregularities“. The same statement added that the former rugby player had been heard by the Inspectorate General of Finances as part of another investigation into suspected favouritism, influence peddling and corruption, but also into the France 2023 ticketing scheme and the fraudulent use of Claude Atcher’s company car. “For the very first time, he has had the opportunity to refute the particularly serious and unfounded allegations against him concerning his management of the GIP France 2023,” insists the statement from his lawyers. When questioned by AFP, the organising committee of the Rugby World Cup in France assured that the entire dismissal procedure had been respected and that it was “at the disposal of the courts to defend the social interest”.