Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rugby trainer turned to politics

French TV viewers are so accustomed to images of Bernard Laporte, former trainer of the national rugby team, either observing a match or delivering a fiery sermon to his players that it's funny to see him attired in a suit and seated on the red-upholstered front bench of the French parliament.

I hope we'll be able to see Laporte in all kinds of future political settings. To be frank, though, there's a chance that this might not be the case. Some observers imagined that the aura of popularity concerning Laporte might be dulled by the poor performance of France in the recent world cup, and that even his mate Sarkozy might end up having second thoughts about the wisdom of having offered Laporte—on a silver platter—a top political post in the sporting domain. But Laporte's image has been darkened recently by business and financial affairs that have nothing to do with rugby. Since most of these imbroglios have already found their way into courtrooms, it would be out of place to attempt to say too much about them, even if we disposed of firm facts (which does not appear to be the case). All I can say is that a referee might well jump into the picture, one of these days, and pull out a card whose color matches the upholstery of those elegant ministerial benches.

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