Defeated candidate Agustin Pichot claims he was betrayed by Rugby Africa president Khaled Babbou in the World Rugby chairman election vote.
Pichot lost against incumbent Bill Beaumont by 28 votes to 23 last month.
In an interview with Argentinian television, Pichot launched a scathing attack on Babbou by suggesting that the controversial Rugby Africa president switched his vote at the last moment and hinting that he may have been swayed by illicit promises by his opponent’s camp.
‘That betrayal occurred in the last days,’ Pichot told TNT Sports.
‘You are going to know why I was betrayed, favours are being made on the edge of ethics. On our side you will not find any type of negotiation. It was done that way and for that reason we lost. I would not have done it in any other way.
‘We were 23-23 with 24 hours to go. Africa did what it did and we lost.’
It is widely speculated that Rugby Africa wasn’t the only organisation to have thrown their lot in with Beaumont despite initially backing Pichot, as Samoa allegedly also switched their vote, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Pichot was succeeded as World Rugby vice-chairman by Beaumont’s running partner and ex-France head coach, Bernard Laporte.
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