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France
Camou comes out fighting after Laporte criticisms
ESPN Staff
July 30, 2014
Pierre Camou looks on at a press conference, France press conference, Marcoussis, France, February 14, 2012
Pierre Camou - 'Let them attack me, I do not care, I'm starting to get used to it. But it touches on people I love' © Getty Images
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French domestic rugby may be in rude health, but the war of words between two candidates for the board presidency is growing increasingly bitter. The current boss, Pierre Camou, and a challenger, Bernard Laporte, are becoming more and more belligerent with almost a year to go before the elections.

Laporte, who manages Toulon, threw his hat in the ring earlier this month after a string of attacks on the way many aspects of the game are run by the FFR.

"Rugby can not function like it did 20 years ago," he told Midi Olympique. "We need to stop putting our heads in the sand. The French national team loses and nobody speaks up. That's not normal. The only thing that the leaders are interested in is keeping their jobs."

He wants the Top 14 to become a Top 12, and for the play-offs to be ditched so there will be "a real champion".

He has also continued to accuse Camou's board of acting like dictators, with an inner core of three or four men making all the decisions. "He said repeatedly and publicly that he was not in favour of a president to do more than two terms. He is in his second and is a man of his word ... he must go. "

Now Camou has come out all guns blazing in a four-page response with Midi Olympique, attacking Laporte's record when he was national team boss. "In the top 10 largest hidings suffered by the French side, do not four or five of those, including the worst, belong to the person who speak out?"

He said he found " a series of comments vulgar concerning the FFR … I was hurt for them [the board]. Let them attack me, I do not care, I'm starting to get used to it. But it touches on people I love."

Laporte immediately hit back. "It's funny to see that we had to wait for me to speak out in order for these people to react at last!" he told La Provence. "It's nevertheless been four years that they've done nothing. This is a good thing for French rugby. At least I have some use."

And he took a swipe at a comment from Camou that he did not need to speak publicly to be effective. "That means he thinks he is effective in control of the Federation. I have won a lot yet I feel I am not good and things are always difficult. But he thinks he is good … but this is not what many people French rugby think."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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