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POLICE

Police raid French rugby World Cup HQ

Organisers of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France said police raided their offices on Wednesday as prosecutors announced they had opened an inquiry into the management of the competition.

Police raid French rugby World Cup HQ
Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP

The national financial crimes prosecutor’s office announced they were investigating possible favouritism, corruption and influence-peddling under the former chief executive of the organising committee, Claude Atcher, who was sacked last month.

France is hosting the men’s rugby World Cup in 2023 – matches take place in nine venues across the country from September 8th. 

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

The national financial crimes prosecutor’s office confirmed on Wednesday for the first time that it had opened an investigation into possible favouritism, corruption and influence-peddling.

The probe followed a referral from auditors at the finance and sports ministries, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement that confirmed raids were underway at different locations.

France’s L’Equipe newspaper said investigators were looking into the misuse of personal expenses, “certain contracts in the past and also alleged irregularities linked to the ticketing system for the 2023 World Cup.”

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

The Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 8th next year with hosts France playing New Zealand at the Stade de France. The final is scheduled for Saturday, October 28th.

The dysfunctions in the World Cup organising committee are an unwelcome embarrassment for France as it prepares to host the Olympics in 2024.

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POLICE

Man shot by police in Paris after ‘threatening officers’

A man has died after being shot four times by police in central Paris on Sunday evening.

Man shot by police in Paris after 'threatening officers'

Officers opened fire in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, close to Place de la République, on Sunday evening.

Two investigations have been opened – one by Paris police into the conduct of the victim and one by police watchdog the IGPN into the actions of the officers – and the two officers were detained for questioning.

Police sources told AFP that that man had been acting in a threatening way towards the officers. 

A police source said the man “doesn’t appear to have addressed any particular words to the police but was indeed threatening”.

French media reported that the man had a handgun and had first threatened a dog with the gun. No information has been released about the victim. 

The officers were released Monday afternoon without any charges being brought “at this point”, a source in the prosecutor’s office said, adding that the man’s gun was probably a fake.

Several people who witnessed the scene are also to be questioned by investigators.

Calls have been growing in France for checks on police use of deadly force, after 13 people who allegedly refused to obey officers’ orders were killed last year.

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