French prosecutors search 2023 Rugby World Cup HQ

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France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup
France was selected as the host of the 2023 Rugby World Cup five years ago

Financial prosecutors have searched the headquarters of France’s 2023 Rugby World Cup organisers.

The search was part of a government inquiry into the management of the organising committee, the organisers said.

The National Finance Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) said it had opened a preliminary investigation last month.

PNF said the inquiry was looking into allegations of “favouritism, influence peddling, and corruption”.

“It follows a joint report from the Inspectorate General of Finance and the Inspectorate General of Education, Sport and Research,” it said.

PNF said a search was “under way at various points”, including the headquarters of organisers in Paris.

France’s L’Equipe newspaper said investigators were looking into expenses, contracts and the tournament ticketing system.

Former France 2023 chief executive Claude Atcher was sacked last month after an internal investigation reported “alarming managerial practices” amid allegations from staff of bullying and harassment.

Atcher’s deputy Julien Collette took over from him as chief executive.

The men’s Rugby World Cup is scheduled to take place in France from 8 September to 28 October 2023 in nine venues across the country.

France won the right to host the tournament in 2017 after beating rival bids from South Africa and Ireland.

South Africa had been expected to win the vote after an independent review recommended they stage the tournament.

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