French Tennis Federation (FFT) secretary general Bernard Giudicelli will step up to the top role at the governing body after being elected as its new president.
Giudicelli will serve a four-year term in office as FFT president after seeing off the claims of two rival candidates at a general assembly meeting on Saturday. Giudicelli has served as secretary general since 2013 and his ‘France Tennis’ project garnered 51.9 per cent of votes, compared to the 48.1 per cent registered by Jean-Pierre Dartevelle. A third bid from Alexis Gramblat failed to gain a single vote.
Giudicelli succeeds Jean Gachassin, who has served as FFT president since 2009 and announced in 2015 that he would not seek a third term in office. He takes the reins at the FFT amid a turbulent period for the organisation. The federation has suffered a number of legal challenges to its bid to redevelop Roland Garros, the home of the French Open grand slam.
The FFT is also currently at the centre of a national investigation. The FFT’s headquarters and the home of Gachassin were raided in May as part of an investigation into alleged corruption and embezzlement surrounding ticket sales for the French Open and the redevelopment of Roland Garros.
France’s financial prosecution service said the raids were linked to the alleged illegal sale of tickets for the French Open and the “conditions of awarding of the contract for the extension of the Roland Garros stadium”. A travel agency in Tarbes, southern France, was also searched.
Following his election, Giudicelli said: “From now on, we will unite all the energies to implement this (France Tennis) project, restore the image of our federation, actively support the development of clubs and win titles on the court.”