The house that oversees French sport is not used to crises. The French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) has been experiencing one for several months and its epilogue could leave traces, two years before the Paris Olympics. This Monday, at the end of an extraordinary and animated board of directors, its president Brigitte Henriques separates from her now former right-hand man Didier Séminet, general secretary with whom the current has not passed for months.
The 45 board members voted over 62% for the departure of the former baseball federation president, according to these sources. The choice of his replacement will have to be recorded in a forthcoming session, the date of which has not yet been determined, specifies a source close to the management of the CNOSF. Didier Séminet will in any case continue the mandate entrusted to him by the General Assembly, continuing to sit on the Board of Directors.
The man had been a key figure in joining the former FFF vice president to lead the CNOSF, elected with 57.8% of the vote in June 2021. Even before it was approved, this divorce caused unprecedented turmoil in the country. institute: never in the history of the CNOSF had a general secretary been discharged during his mandate. “It is a disaster for the image of unity that we should give as an example to the sports movement”deplores a federation president. “It is deplorable and very damaging to our image less than two years after the Olympics”regrets another.
“I’ve never seen it”
So much so that Guy Drut, former minister of sports under Jacques Chirac, one of the four French members of the IOC, stepped forward last week. The former Olympic champion in the 110 m hurdles evokes a situation “acute” And “not published”. Guy Drut sent a letter signed by the other three French members of the IOC (Jean-Christophe Rolland, David Lappartient and Martin Fourcade) and addressed to Brigitte Henriques, asking to be allowed to participate in Monday’s crucial vote via videoconference.
“I’ve been at the CNOSF for 26 years, I’ve never seen it. I have always done what I can to attend our various meetings, so I have observed that, on a regular basis, it could happen that differences arise between the President and his Secretary General, but they have always had the intelligence to solve their problem between themselves and thus to preserve the general interest and the unity of our institution. […] It’s dramatic “regrets in the letter.
The reasons that led Brigitte Henriques to ask for Didier Séminet’s departure are not yet known in detail. “We don’t even know what the secretary general is accused of”Guy Drut is surprised. […] It’s not complicated: we don’t know anything. Neither I nor the other three French members of the IOC (Martin Fourcade, David Lappartient, Jean-Christophe Rolland) were not warned “.
“There is a schism, the two no longer get along. There is an irreconcilable difference in the way of doing things “summarizes a source close to the direction of the CNOSF. “The atmosphere between them is freezing, you can see”assures another president.
The president officially addressed the issue during an extended executive tenure in late August, where the motion on the departure of his secretary general was recorded. “Didier Séminet has the support. Even though it’s divisive, I’m not sure this release will be lacking in brilliance.one of the CNOSF members then predicted.
If the information had filtered through the ranks of the CNOSF, it was not made public until 1 September when the sports movement returned. The president of the judo federation, Stéphane Nomis, put his feet in the plate, questioning the president about this future rift that did not appear in the CA’s call on Monday, as he questions the social climate within the CNOSF.
“We could have done without the current media attention”
Because this episode is accompanied by several departures from the institute for almost a year. Some volunteers, some not. “There have been fewer than five unwanted starts, the rest are just natural rotations”ensures a closure of the management.
“Brigitte is doing a good job, she is trying to move house which she really needs”temper another high-ranking supporter in the Olympic mysteries. “What’s amazing is how big it is. It is quite normal and logical, when a duo formed between a president and a general secretary no longer works, things change. It happens in other organizations. This speaks volumes about the modernity of the institution.ping the same source.
In an attempt to calm the singularly tense climate since the beginning of the school year, Brigitte Henriques shared a letter on 8 July addressed to the presidents of the federations and to the members of the CNOSF. If she does not clearly state the reasons why it is, she conjures up a proposal for dismissal “necessary for the proper functioning of our institution, it is the result of a long and difficult reflection”she wrote. “Above all, it is part of the continuity of the project that I have been carrying out since the beginning of my term as president: to better serve the success of French sport, by your side”keep on. “Preserving the reputation of the sports movement, to which you are attached, is also at the heart of my concerns. We could have done without the current media attention – which is not my place – and circumscribe the debate within our association., the leader insists again. Not exactly fitting with its promise of transparency formulated at the time of its accession to the top of the sports movement.