Rugby World Cup: Sebastien Chabal denies wrongdoing in ticket scandal

Dylan Coetzee
Sebastien Chabal looks on from an event.

Former France international Sebastien Chabal denied claims that he had secured more than 100 tickets for the 2023 Rugby World Cup through his role as an ambassador for the tournament.

According to Le Parisien, through his involvement in the showpiece event, he was entitled to eight tickets, like all organising staff, but instead went well over the limit.

Claims of no re-sale

Chabal confirmed via AFP in a statement that he does have access to tickets but denies any wrongdoing, including the resale of tickets for profit.

“Yes, I benefited from a 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,” Chabal told AFP.

“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.”

Another hiccup in preparations

This incident is not the first involving the World Cup in France. Chief organiser Claude Atcher was sacked in October for leveraging his position and creating an abusive working environment.

Off the back of that, France’s national financial crimes prosecutor’s office launched an investigation dealing with corruption, influence-peddling and favouritism.

The situation with Chabal surfaced as a result of an office raid in November last year.

An AFP source claims the resale of tickets is still under investigation.

“Questions have been raised about the hypothesis of ticket re-selling, but nothing has been established at this stage,” they said.

READ MORE: England: Kevin Sinfield tasked with challenging Steve Borthwick