Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Le Graet steps away from FFF presidency amid government investigation

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jan 2023

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Noel Le Graet has stepped back from his role as French Football Federation (FFF) president amid a government investigation into the organisation.

Le Graet has been in position since 2011 but has come under increasing pressure to quit.

The French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has called for change at the top of the FFF, while leading agent Sonia Souid accused Le Graet of improper conduct.

In an RMC interview, Souid outlined how her belief was that in their dealings from 2013 to 2017, Le Graet saw her as an object of his sexual desire. Le Graet and the FFF did not immediately respond to Souid’s allegations.

The 81-year-old has also been accused of improper conduct in relation to female employees. The FFF filed a defamation suit against So Foot magazine, the publication in which these allegations were made.

The French government opened an investigation into the matter in September, but Le Graet caused further controversy week with his bizarre comments about Zinedine Zidane in the wake of confirming Didier Deschamps’ new contract as France coach.

Kylian Mbappe was among those to criticise Le Graet, who said he would not “give a toss” if Zidane called about the possibility of taking over Les Bleus.

Le Graet has since apologised but on Wednesday reports emerged that he had been suspended as president.

The FFF subsequently confirmed Le Graet had “chosen to withdraw from his duties as president” until the government investigation had been concluded.

Florence Hardouin, the FFF’s general manager, has also stepped down in what a statement called a “precautionary measure”.

Philippe Diallo, who was serving as deputy vice president, will fill both roles on an interim basis.

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