Controversial French federation president (81) himself resigns after allegations of sexual harassment


The president of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graët, has tendered his resignation. The succession of scandals had made his position untenable.

Michael Van Damme

French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët tendered his resignation this morning during a meeting of the executive committee. The 81-year-old businessman has held the position since 2011. He is provisionally succeeded by vice-chairman Philippe Diallo.

The fact that Le Graët keeps the dubious honor to himself will provide relief to the French federation, because the scandals and riots could no longer be counted.

The most serious case is the investigation of moral and sexual harassment. Le Graët defended himself against allegations that he had sent unwanted messages to female employees by saying he didn’t even know how to send a text message. The female player agent Sonia Souid refuted this with a testimony in L’Equipe. She told how a tipsy Le Graët invited her to his room and made references to sex.

Le Graët is being audited by the French Ministry of Sport. He also came under fire when, following Didier Deschamps’ contract extension as national coach, he said that he would not even answer his phone if Zinedine Zidane called.

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