French financial prosecutors (PNF) have been searching the headquarters of France 2023 as part of a preliminary investigation into the management of the Rugby World Cup organising committee, the PNF said on Wednesday.
“In early October 2022, the PNF opened a preliminary investigation into charges of favouritism, influence peddling, corruption and any other related offence relating to the management of GIP France 2023. The investigation was entrusted to the Paris research section (gendarmerie),” the PNF said in a statement.
“It follows a joint report from the Inspectorate General of Finance and the Inspectorate General of Education, Sport and Research. A search is under way at various points, including the headquarters of GIP France 2023.”
France 2023 said in a statement that the search was “a continuation of the mission of the General Inspectorate of Finances, mandated this summer by the government to verify the management of the entities of the Organising Committee (GIP, GIE and Endowment Fund) with the General Inspectorate of National Education, Sport and Research. France 2023 will not comment further on the subject.”
Last month, the chief executive of France 2023, Claude Atcher, was sacked after a report found that he had overseen “an extremely degraded social environment” at the organising committee.
The men’s Rugby World Cup in France will be held from 8 September until 28 October 2023.