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Sebastien Chabal responds to scalping accusations

By Ian Cameron
Sebastien Chabal, French former rugby union player, is a tv consultant during the Top 14 Final match between Toulouse and La Rochelle at Stade de France on June 25, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

Former France No.8 Sebastien Chabal has denied any involvement in ticket scalping ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

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There were reports in the French press this week that Chabal was using his access to tickets as an ambassador for the Rugby World Cup to resell them for a personal profit – a charge he now has dismissed.

The Parisian reported this week that Chabal was under investigation after he allegedly had access to more than his allotted number of tickets as a member of the organising committee and that the former Sale Shark was effectively touting tickets.

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The French icon has clarified that he had no intention of making a profit on the tickets.

“Yes, I had privileged access to buy more tickets than can be done by one person, because of my status as ambassador of France 2023,” he explained in his statement. “I didn’t get any freebies or preferential rates. And no, I do not intend to make a profit on these places.

“It is obvious that these places cannot be resold by those who will benefit from them. It is just as inconceivable that they can be used for commercial operations.”

According to the report, evidence of the number of tickets received by Chabal came to light following a raid last year. These searches were held as part of the investigation opened by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) targeting acts of favouritism, influence peddling and corruption.

Chabal began his career with Bourgoin before moving on to play for Sale Sharks, Racing 92, and Lyon. He was a key player for the French national team and was part of the squad that won the Six Nations Championship in 2007.

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The 6’3, 110kg Chabal was known for his physical style of play and his powerful tackles. He was nicknamed “The Caveman” due to his rugged appearance and was a fan favourite throughout his career. Chabal retired from professional rugby in 2013 and has since become a television commentator and coach.

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