He is a fervent defender of rugby who died. Bernard Lapasset, former president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) and World Rugby (the national federation) died on the night of May 2 to 3, 2023, at the age of 75. Max Guazzini, another former manager of the French oval as ex-president of Stade Français, echoed the news. The French Rugby Federation has since confirmed the disappearance of its former boss. The family of Bernard Lapasset is very discreet and the causes of death have not been specified. After having been a figure in French sport, the septuagenarian has been discreet since 2018.
Pau sportsman Tony Estanguet also had a message for Bernard Lapasset and his family. The two men had worked together to enable France to organize the next edition of the Olympic Games. In addition to the world of rugby, it is the representative of French sport, Minister Amélie Oudéa-Catsera who paid tribute to “a great lover of sport and one of its best ambassadors” of France on the sports scene.
Pillar of the candidacy for the reception of #JOP2024, a great leader of world rugby France lost with the death of Bernard Lapasset a great lover of sport and one of its best historic ambassadors. My condolences go out to his family, loved ones, friends. pic.twitter.com/GtJ5yfJlWL
— Amelie Oudea-Castera (@AOC1978) May 3, 2023
Bernard Lapasset, former boss of French and international rugby
The Tarbais born in 1947 has dedicated his life to sport and more particularly to rugby. For more than 25 years, Bernard Lapasset has worked in the governing bodies of the oval ball. It is also to him that the sport owes, in part, its professionalization. A love of sport and an involvement that placed him from 1991 to 2008 at the head of the French Rugby Federation then from 2008 to 2016 at the presidency of the International Federation. Among the successes of Bernard Lapasset, there is the return of rugby to the Olympic Games decided in 2009 and formalized during the Rio Games in 2016.
The Paris 2024 Olympics obtained thanks to Bernard Lapasset?
More than rugby, Bernard Lapasset also defended France on the international sports scene by obtaining the organization of the Rugby World Cup in France in 2007, sixteen years before the return of competition in France in 2023. In recent years, the Tarbais had turned to other sports by taking an active part in France’s bid to organize the Games 2024 Olympics. He was notably, from 2015 to 2017, one of the co-presidents of the “Paris 2024” bid committee for the Olympic Games, alongside Tony Estanguet. Once the mission accomplished and the competition awarded to the French capital, Bernard Lapasset was appointed honorary president of the organizing committee of these Games.
A tribute to Bernard Lapasset at the Rugby World Cup?
The death of Bernard Lapasset is sudden, above all, he comes just a few months before the 2023 Rugby World Cup which is being played in France and one year before the launch of the Paris 2024 Games. The man would however, for sure , attended both events. At the very least, he would certainly have been proud to see the two competitions for which he worked in the past taking place in France. It is still early to say, but the French Rugby Federation could pay tribute to its former president and perhaps have a thought for him during the international competition which is due to start in September 2023.