After the disrespectful statements and the cross-border behavior: France puts Noël Le Graët at the door

©  AFP

The French Football Federation has said goodbye to its president Noël Le Graët with immediate effect. The 81-year-old Frenchman has been in the eye of the storm in recent days after he showed disrespectful behavior towards football icon Zinedine Zidane and was also accused of transgressive behavior. Le Graët is now put aside until the result of an audit. Vice-President Philippe Diallo will take over the duties of Le Graët for the time being.

Jens Jacobs

French federation chairman Noël Le Gräet has made himself persona non grata in France in recent days. On Monday he showed no respect at all towards football icon Zinedine Zidane. His statements also went down the wrong way with Kylian Mbappé. The French superstar accused Le Graët of “a lack of respect”. Le Graët already apologized for those statements, but the damage had already been done.

A day later, Le Graët ended up in the eye of the storm. The French monthly magazine So Foot published an article in which it accused Le Graët and other senior officials at the French Football Federation of a years-long cover-up after several cases of sexual abuse. And Le Graët himself was also accused of sending sexually suggestive text messages to employees of the football association.

Those allegations prompted French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra to demand an audit. But the French federation is not waiting for the result of that audit. Le Graët, 81, had scheduled an extraordinary Executive Committee at the federation’s headquarters for Wednesday morning. He wanted to seize the opportunity to explain the events of the past few days. There it was decided to put Le Graët aside for the time being until the results of the audit are announced. Philippe Diallo takes over the duties of the federation chairman for the time being.

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