French federation chairman unleashes riot with statement about Zinedine Zidane: “I had not answered my phone for him”

Le Graët (left) and national coach Didier Deschamps. — ©  AFP

Zinedine Zidane has become the linchpin of a riot in the French sports world. French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët explained the contract extension of national coach Didier Deschamps until 2026 and when asked about the rumors about Zinedine Zidane he said: “I hadn’t even answered my phone for him.” That statement is seen as a lack of respect for the French football legend. Even Kylian Mbappé got involved: “Zidane, that’s France. You can’t have enough respect for him.”

Michael Van Damme

When 81-year-old Noël Le Graët opens his mouth, you can be sure that a riot will follow. He has already caused a sensation with his unworldly statements about the fate of migrant workers in Qatar. His explanation on RMC about the contract extension of Didier Deschamps hit the mark again.

Here and there, the free Zinedine Zidane, who is also mentioned as a candidate for Brazil, was put forward as a potential successor to Deschamps, but Le Graët brushed that hypothesis off the table. Only he did that by unnecessarily offending Zidane, who won a world title and a European title with France and is regarded as the most important French player of all time.

“There is nothing to clarify,” said Le Graët. “I wouldn’t have even answered my phone for Zidane. I never met him and I never thought about saying goodbye to Didier Deschamps.”

©  AFP

Kylian Mbappé, among others, responded to the statement that Le Graët would not answer his phone for Zidane. “Zidane is France, you can’t have enough respect for a legend like him.”

As the president of the federation to antagonize the absolute star player of your national team against you, have to do it. There was already resentment between Mbappé and the French federation over the portrait rights for the World Cup in Qatar.

The statements do not benefit Le Graët’s position. On the instructions of the French Minister of Sport, an audit is being carried out on the operation of the French Football Federation, the conclusions of which should be ready at the beginning of February.

The French Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra is not pleased with the new slip of the French federation president. “These are again statements that testify to a lack of sense of reality. They are embarrassing and touch a legend of the sport and all of us. A president of the most important sports federation should not say such things. Apologies are in order.”

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