What will be the consequences for FFF president Noel Le Graet after his words about Zinedine Zidane?
“Zidane in Brazil? I have nothing to shake, he can go wherever he wants, in a club, in Europe, as much as he wants, a big club.“Already shaken by accusations”bullying“and behaviors”inconsistentNoël Le Graët’s work is aggravated by the anonymous ex-employees he always quarrels with and RMC icon Zinédine Zidane is attacked on Sunday 8 January. The ball star has long been considered the No. 1 pick at the top. A member of the France squad if Didier Deschamps does not renew, the Blues’ current manager was finally extended until 2026 on Saturday.
Noël Le Graët talks about Zidane at RMC in Bartoli Time: “Zidane in Brazil? I don’t care. He does what he wants, it’s none of my business. I’ve never met him. We’ve never thought of breaking up. With Didier.” pic.twitter.com/odyOBSQpHF
– RMC Sport (@RMCsport) January 8, 2023
Confronted by the Breton leader and former mayor of Guingamp, the 81-year-old’s controversial comments, sports minister Amélie Oudea-Castera demanded an immediate apology. “A disgraceful disrespect to the legend of football and sports, this time hurting us all, and again above-the-ground statements with an added bonus: the “president” of France’s first sports federation should not say this. I apologize for these many words about Z. Zidane.“
An apology from the FFF president that he could not avoid. “(These comments) in no way reflect my thoughts on the player he has become and the coach he has become. Zinedine Zidane, like all French people, knows my great respect for him“, he told AFP the day after his slide at RMC. And for good reason, when “Zizou” is attacked, everyone in football stands up. It starts with Kylian Mbappé.
Chain reactions on the Internet
The rising star of the Blues, who shone at the World Cup in Qatar, was one of the first to react. That same evening, he tweeted. “Zidane is France, we don’t even disrespect the legend…”
Zidane’s former teammate Youri Djorkaeff called the FFF president back. “Bad arrival, bad placement, we’re talking about the world champion, we’re talking about the world champion“. Former striker Djibril Cissé got angry and shared a meme. “When I heard the words Le Graet.“
In turn, the ex-Blues captain’s former club Real Madrid points the finger “disrespect to one of the most admired personalities“and ask”immediate correction“, in the official press release published this morning. This issue does not leave the French government indifferent either. A “feeling full“, a government source told AFP, accompanied by the President of the Republic. We “regret”there is no sense of accumulation of unacceptable words. “He was afraid“, the source assures.
A weak state, the FFF can single-handedly remove a leader
From a technical point of view, the French political power does not have the possibility to dismiss the president of the FFF. Such a decision would also draw the ire of the International Football Federation (FIFA), which prohibits any state intervention.
So the ball is in the court of the FFF and its executive committee, the only ones empowered to push Le Graët towards the exit. “There will be a terrible tidal wave, he will have to go. The minister is right, he is completely above the ground. This is unsupervised communication. When you’re the president of France’s biggest sports federation, you’re in control“, an anonymous FFF source told AFP.
The Executive Committee has already turned against its president. Already, its members have not been informed about the extension of Deschamps as the head coach of the Blues. But above all, this detour comes at an already complicated time for Noël Le Graët and the FFF. “We must not forget that all these surreal statements of Noël Le Graet mask other controversies and mainly the pedophilia involved in the FFF.“, investigative journalist Romain Molina said in an interview with LCI on January 9. The journalist has been investigating cases of gender-based and sexual violence within the FFF for years.
The real issue with Le Graet, he says, is more than his comments about Zidane, his apologies and the debate over his resignation. @Romain_MolinaInvestigative journalist who has been investigating for years, “pedophilia covered by FFF”. #fields #Zizou pic.twitter.com/DoimEhAEUu
— Paul Larroutourou (@PaulLarroutourou) January 9, 2023
Audit mission on gender-based and sexual violence
Among the accusations is a So Foot article published on September 8 directly condemning the behavior of the current president of the FFF, who has been in office since 2011. Above all, the journal recalls the text sent by Le Graet to the power of anonymous testimony. Sexual messages to FFF employees. According to him, a FFF announced on September 15 that it had decided to file.defamation suit” against monthly.
To (re)read: French FA in disarray as 2022 World Cup looms
But Noël Le Graët will be heard this Tuesday, January 10, by an audit and control mission commissioned by the Ministry of Sports to clarify these management practices of the French Football Federation in terms of gender-based and sexual violence. These polemical statements could not have come at a worse time.