Audit exposes “derailed behavior” and “sexually suggestive text messages” from French federation chairman pushed aside


The at times “derailed behavior” of the previous month pushed aside president of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noël Le Graët, was “incompatible” with the exercise of his job and the exemplary role associated with it. An audit of 81-year-old Le Graët came to this conclusion, which the French news agency AFP could view.

Jens HeylenBron: BELGIAN

The audit document of the General Inspectorate of Education, Sports and Research (IGESR), released on Wednesday, points to “inappropriate public attitudes and inappropriate behavior towards women” by Le Graët, in particular via “ambiguous text messages for some and clearly sexually explicit text messages for others”. The report, which collected more than 100 testimonies, asks federal authorities to investigate this situation.

In mid-January, the Paris public prosecutor’s office announced that it would open an investigation into Le Graët for moral and sexual harassment. The reason was the testimony of the French player’s agent Sonia Souid. She complained in the sports newspaper L’Equipe about transgressive behavior of Le Graët. The audit of the IGESR was started a few months earlier.

Souid denounced the sexist behavior of Le Graët, who is more than 40 years his senior. He made advances for years from his position of power as chairman of the association, it sounded. For example, he would have clearly told her in his apartment that if she wanted his help, she had to sleep with him. Souid said that every time he met Le Graët, he had the impression that the only thing that interested him was her “two breasts and ass”.

Le Graët was retired as FFF chairman on 11 January. The reason for this was, among other things, disrespectful statements about French football icon Zinedine Zidane.

FIFA-voorzitter Gianni Infantino, Noël Le Graët en Frans president Emmanuel Macron — © REUTERS

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