Suspicions of suspicious contracts awarded by the FFR – The DGCCRF is seized

As the months go by, new cases concerning the French Rugby Federation (FFR) keep coming to light.

An alert was sent to the French Ministry of Sport at the end of January concerning contracts concluded by the FFR in breach of the competitive tendering rule in Article L.131-13 of the Sports Code.

This Article provides that authorised federations may only conclude contracts of collective interest relating to the purchase or sale of products or services, on the condition that they carry out a prior call for competition.

The French minister for Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, asked the Directorate for Sports to refer the matter to the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) so that it could investigate this potential infringement.

It will be up to the DGCCRF investigators to determine whether these services have been contracted out and put out to tender beforehand.

By virtue of their investigative powers, the officers may, in particular, access the premises of the FFR in order to collect the necessary documents and information.

The FFR may have benefited from services concerning the development and provision of software for video viewing and statistical analysis of matches.

For the time being, the nature and amount of the benefits in question have not been revealed.

According to the AFP (the French Press Agency), it seems the minister is reserving its right to launch, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, an inter-inspection mission of the IGESR (General Inspectorate for Education, Sports and Research) and the IGF (General Inspectorate of Finance) in relation to the budgetary and financial management of the French Rugby Federation.