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Former French Rugby Federation President Pierre Camou dies

The former banker and rugby player was beaten by Bernard Laporte in the last election at the head of the FFR in 2016.

Pierre Camou, who died on Wednesday, August 15th at the beginning of his 73 years, was the archetype of the leader in the ascension career, from the field, as a player and club boss, to the presidency of the French Rugby Federation (FFR ), where he had various fortunes.

Among the many tributes that have accumulated since the announcement of his disappearance, at midday, that of former international Yannick Bru summarizes the character: “brilliant man, (…) who has always served our sport.” “French rugby loses one of its most faithful servants,” added Bernard Laporte, on Twitter, his successor at the head of the FFR.

Born at the end of the second world war in the heart of the Basque mountain, Pierre Camou pushed into the “ru-by” word that he pronounced while rolling the initial r and omitting the gutturale. He was not 18 years old when he created with his brother Jean-Gabriel, future mayor of Uhart-Cize, the club of the village.

Elected President of the FFR in 2008

The founder of the US Garazi is a player, then naturally president when the age invites him to leave the field. At the same time, he joined the Côte Basque-Landes committee, where he was treasurer for twenty years, then boss since 1996. An ideal launching pad for the head of the FFR.

Because sport does not feed his man, Pierre Camou, after studying law and economics in Bordeaux, is recruited in Bayonne by Michel Inchauspé, boss of the Basque bank of the same name. He will acquire a taste for major projects and irreplaceable expertise in management.

Deputy treasurer of the FFR in 1996, vice-president in 2000, it is therefore naturally in 2008 to the estate of Bernard Lapasset, resigned because freshly elected at the head of the International Rugby Board. Unanimously elected in Vannes, in Brittany far removed from rugby lands but he decided to conquer like other virgin lands, Pierre Camou will live a first term relatively comfortable on the sporting and political level.

Development of women’s rugby

Winner of the tournament of six nations in 2010, second in 2011, the XV of France led by Marc Lievremont will especially, the same year, miss for one point his first world title, defeated by the All Blacks (8-7) in New Zealand. But the return to the country is worthy of world champions, with popular reception Place de la Concorde and presidential tribute.

Pierre Camou and the FFR benefit from it. One year after the disaster of Knysna, fatal for almost a decade in the image of French football, rugby pushes the walls, gaining more than 25% of licensees and boosting its appeal in women, players or spectators, amplified by the success of the 2014 Women’s World Cup organized for the first time in France and of which he was the initiator.

The embellishment of the oval balloon accelerates the pharaonic projects of the boss of the FFR. Admiring his British counterparts who with Twickenham in London, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin or the Millennium Cardiff have speakers for rugby more than profitable, Pierre Camou wants his stadium. Especially as relations with the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, in which the XV of France plays its international matches, are detestable.

Failure of the Grand Stade project

The 82,000-seat Grand Stadium project in Evry will therefore be the thread running through its second mandate, which began in 2012, with internal opposition growing over time, reinforced by the mistakes that the XV de France has made. Four years after the heroic battle of Eden Park Auckland, the new coach appointed by Pierre Camou, Philippe Saint-André, indeed takes the broth with the team of France in Cardiff, humiliated by New Zealand (13 -62) in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

The convention of making international available signed with the National League rugby will not reverse the trend. Guy Novès, also named by Camou, will not be successful either with the national team. Candidate for a third term in 2016, the Basque is dethroned by Bernard Laporte, former Secretary of State for sports, after a bitter campaign.

Bernard Laporte will inherit from his predecessor the candidature file for the World 2023, which he will triumph. On the other hand, the project of Grand Stade is very quickly definitively buried. Wounded, sick, Pierre Camou will have survived less than two years to his defeat.

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