Bernard Lapasset was elected to a second consecutive term as chairperson of the International Rugby Board on Monday in a 14-12 vote over vice-chairperson Bill Beaumont, a former England captain.
At a meeting near Los Angeles International Airport, the political struggle between Frenchman Lapasset and Beaumont was settled on the first balloting. Lapasset will begin a new four-year term on January 1.
The vote was originally to have taken place in Auckland ahead of the Rugby World Cup final in October, but the council instead decided to postpone a decision that might have overshadowed the build-up to the sport’s showcase match.
Each camp sought to secure votes from smaller nations with threats of lost financial backing and developmental tours if they voted for the opposition.
That set the odd stage of Los Angeles, the most convenient air destination for rugby leaders from all corners of the globe, to decide who will guide the administration of the sport for the next four years. — AFP