Bernard Giudicelli was elected this Saturday in Paris, President of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), succeeding Jean Gachassin at the head of a body suffering from legal woes and bad results.
Giudicelli, who turns 59 on Monday won against his main rival, Jean-Pierre Dartevelle, vice president of competition, with whom he has had conflicts during the campaign. Outsider, Gramblat Alexis, a 38 year old lawyer, vice president of the Tennis Club de Paris, finished third.
A stormy campaign
According to the site TennisActu, Giudicelli got 897 votes against 830 for Dartevelle and 8 Gramblat. The Federation has not released final figures of the election. Giudicelli previously occupied the position of Secretary General of the FFT since 2013. President of the League of Corsica since 1991 and chairman of the committee of the Davis Cup since 2015, he succeeded Gachassin, in office since 2009 and announced in May in 2015 he would not seek a third term.
Designation Giudicelli ends a turbulent campaign, conducted while the national financial parquet investigate alleged facts of Roland Garros ticket traffic. Jean Gachassin is the main target in this case. He is suspected of having illegally sold the tickets -on speak of 250 to 700 per an- at cost to a friend, travel agent in his native Southwest, which would have sold at least five times more expensive.
The outgoing president is also suspected of influence peddling, in the Roland Garros extension site. Gachassin denies. And Giudicelli Dartevelle also. Both are believed to have sold tickets illegally and suppressed suspicions of embezzlement weighing on their president. A true “pact of silence” by the Inspectorate General of Youth and Sports (IGJS).
Five tennis clubs have achieved justice for the appointment of a representative to the FFT in this case. In sporting terms, France has not won the prestigious Davis Cup for 16 years and no French (among men) has managed to win a major since Yannick Noah at Roland Garros 34 years ago.