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France 2023 statement: The sacking of CEO Claude Atcher

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Claude Atcher has been sacked as CEO for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France after a French labour investigation concluded that he oversaw an environment where bullied employees were reportedly suffering panic attacks and burnout. The administrator was suspended in August and a France 2023 ethics committee report has now resulted in the termination of his contract with immediate effect.


A statement read: “The France 2023 organising committee’s board of directors met in an extraordinary session on Monday, October 10. Its president Jacques Rivoal shared with the board the conclusions from the French Labour Inspectorate investigation, which was launched after an article published on June 22 mentioned the social climate within the organising committee and the management of its CEO, Claude Atcher.

“The report brought forward by the French Labour Inspectorate corroborates and complements the report produced by the France 2023 ethics committee, submitted at the end of August and reviewed on September 2 by the France 2023 board of directors.

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“Following this board meeting, Atcher’s suspension was unanimously ratified by France 2023’s founding members: the Federation Francaise de Rugby (FFR), the French State, and the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF).

“Taking note of the report’s conclusions, France 2023’s board of directors has decided to terminate the contract of its CEO, Claude Atcher. Following the FFR president’s proposal, and in accordance with article 4.3.1 of France 2023’s internal and financial regulations, the board of directors has appointed Julien Collette as CEO and Martine Nemecek as Deputy CEO.

“These appointments will ensure that the preparations for Rugby World Cup 2023 can continue in the highest level of professionalism and in a peaceful social climate. Julien Collette and Martine Nemecek are responsible, alongside France 2023’s president, its founding members and World Rugby, for taking the necessary organisational measures that will ensure greater collegiality and transparency in the organising committee’s decision-making process.


“The new France 2023 management team and its employees will continue to work together to offer an exceptional moment of celebration throughout France and its regions, with the promise of delivering a responsible event both in terms of organisation and legacy for the sport and society.”


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