Former French rugby union player denies World Cup ticketing scandal allegations

Featured image credit: Thomas Serer on Unsplash

Former French rugby union player Sebastien Chabal has denied that he is involved in a ticketing scandal concerning the 2023 Rugby World Cup. 

This year’s tournament is set to take place in France between September 8 and October 28, and in the build up, French newspaper Le Parisien has alleged that Chabal secured more than 100 tickets for the tournament.

Chabal’s role as tournament ambassador entitled him to just eight tickets for the upcoming World Cup.

The newspaper also reported that another former player, Henri Mioch, who was also the project manager for the organisation of the World Cup between 2017 and 2020, may have acquired even more tickets.

Through a statement to news agency AFP, Chabal denied any irregularities, including the resale of tickets for profit.

He said: “Yes, I benefited from privileged access to buy more tickets than it is possible to do for one person, because of my status as an ambassador for France 2023.

“I did not get any free tickets or preferential prices. And no, I have no intention of making profits on these tickets.

“Obviously these tickets cannot be re-sold by those who benefit from them. It is just as unthinkable that they can be used for commercial operations.”

Le Parisien also reported that the situation escalated from an office raid late last year, with the outlet’s source arguing that the volume of tickets involved could only point to ticket trafficking.

AFP reported that the resale of tickets was still under investigation.

It is not the only hiccup in the run-up to this year’s Rugby World Cup in France, with Claude Atcher having been sacked as chief executive of the local organising committee in October.