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New Zealand Rugby seeks answers from corrupt sponsor

NEWS: New Zealand Rugby is reeling after the owner of Altrad, the sponsor of their All Blacks shirts, was given a suspended sentence in France on Tuesday.


Mohed Altrad, Altrad’s billionaire owner of the French construction company, has been sponsoring the New Zealand men and womens shirts in a six-year deal since August.

According to reports in French media, Mohed Altrad, who also owns rugby club Montpellier, was found guilty in a trial for influence peddling and illegally acquiring assets, in relation to his company’s sponsorship of the France rugby team.

The case also involved Bernard Laporte, the head of the French Rugby Federation, who received a two-year suspended prison sentence and a 75,000 euros ($79,672.50) fine. The court was not immediately available for comment.

Both men have denied any wrongdoing. NZR had announced a six-year partnership with Altrad in August last year, allowing the construction company’s logo to appear on the front of the men’s and women’s team shirts, as well as those of the sevens and youth teams.

“We will be reconvening with representatives from the company immediately, as well as with our key stakeholders,” said a New Zealand Rugby spokesman.

“We have been in discussions on the possibility of this outcome for some time.”


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