Bastien Chalureau, during the team welcome ceremony at the Parc du Bois-Préau, in Rueil-Malmaison, September 2, 2023. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP
The judicial past of Bastien Chalureau resurfaces. The Montpellier second-line, called up to the France team on Friday September 1 to replace injured club teammate Paul Willemse, is at the heart of a controversy linked to a conviction for racist violence dating back to 2020.
Bastien Chalureau, 31, was sentenced that year by the Toulouse Criminal Court to a suspended six-month prison sentence for “acts of violence with the circumstance that these were committed because of race or ethnicity. victim’s ethnicity. He claims to have appealed against this judgment.
The Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castera, estimated on Sunday that, “while awaiting the final court decision, everyone must let the justice system do its job calmly, respecting the presumption of innocence”.
“The minister was able to speak with Florian Grill, president of the French Rugby Federation, and with Raphaël Ibanez, general manager of the Blues, who confirmed to her that an exchange had taken place on the subject between Bastien Chalureau and the staff of the XV of France »adds a press release from the ministry sent to Agence France-Presse.
“The Minister was able to ensure on this occasion that the player, who appealed against his conviction at first instance, maintains his version of the facts and still formally denies having made racist remarks, which is why he made this appeal. . »
Aggression after a party
Asked at a press conference about this on Sunday, the captain of the Blues, Antoine Dupont, said that the “group was not affected” by the controversy and that Bastien Chalureau had “always had an exemplary attitude, on and off the pitch”.
As for coach Fabien Galthié, after recalling that “racism had no place in the team”he let go, questioned about whether the XV of France had been affected by the affair: “A World Cup is not for wimps. »
The facts date back to the end of January 2020, when Chalureau was accused by two former rugby players of having attacked them after an evening in Toulouse.
“We were going to go down to the Jean-Jaurès car park. I heard a person shouting “how are you googlings?” I turned around and saw a big guy (…) He continued his racist insults incessantly. I wanted to turn around and he punched me with all his might in the jaw.”had told one of them, Yannick Larguet, in the columns of the regional daily The Midi Dispatch.
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But since the Montpellier Hérault rugby player was called up to the group of thirty-three Blues who are preparing to start the World Cup against New Zealand on Friday, this judicial past has been brought back to the fore by several left-wing personalities.
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“The first thing would have been for Fabien Galthié not to call him to the France team. Moreover, with my fellow deputy François Piquemal [député La France insoumise de Haute-Garonne]we are going to seize the Minister of Sports tomorrow so that she intervenes and asks the French team not to select him “declared the elected LFI Thomas Portes at the microphone of RMC on Sunday.
The Minister of Sports said for her part “that being selected for the France team means representing the republican values of equality and fraternity, therefore behaving accordingly and in particular combating all forms of violence and discrimination and the minister knows the coach’s attachment, players and the Federation to these principles”.
Born near Cazères-sur-Garonne (Haute-Garonne), where he started playing rugby, Chalureau was playing at the time of the attack at Stade Toulousain, his training club, which he had found the previous season, after visits to Perpignan and Nevers.
Following the brawl, he was laid off by Stade Toulousain and recruited by Montpellier where he confirmed the hopes placed in him during his youth, stringing together matches and winning his first title, the European Challenge, in June 2021. He then became one of the artisans of the coronation in Top 14 of Montpellier in 2022 with whom he raised his first Shield of Brennus.