The prud’hommes court of Paris on Monday examined the case of a former employee of the French Football Federation, who accuses a superior of harassment and attempted sexual assault. “Serious accusations,” that have been rejected by the FFF. The lawyer of the young woman, employed as an intern, then employed on a longer basis explained that her superior was, “particularly alcoholic” at the time of the events, and tried “to snatch a kiss” during a Christmas do in December 2017, then during the 2018 World Cup, in a Moscow nightclub. On top these “elements of sexual assault,” were “daily remarks on her outfits and makeup, incessant glances and absolutely inappropriate observations made,” she said.
“The attitude of the FFF seems to me in this case of an unprecedented and heartbreaking violence,” argued the accuser’s lawyer to be inappropriate. The former employee is claiming more than €60,000 in damages, citing the French Football Federation’s failure to protect her and for being potentially deprived of a permanent contract. Faced with these “very serious accusations”, the FFF questioned the story of the young woman and denounced the “instrumentalization” of the testimony provided by the opposite party.
According to the Federation’s lawyer, concerning Moscow, the only witness comes from someone who “did not attend the scene”. As for the Christmas party, there are only two “very disturbing” witnesses whose “versions have evolved”, until they were in line with each other, according to the FFF’s counsel. An image was shown where we see the young woman “foolishly play around with the alleged harasser,” during the festivities.
This “looks like a settling of accounts,” the lawyer said. For him, the young woman is taking “revenge” after her superior asked her to wear “a decent dress” to work. “Is it acceptable for an employee to come and work in this outfit?” He asked, producing a photo of the ex-employee wearing “extremely short shorts” at the workplace in front of the prud’hommes decision-makers.
The FFF’s lawyer accepted the “language” that his client may have used to the young woman, whom he called “miss” or “my little darling”, he rejected any “attack on dignity”.
The Court will give its decision on July 15th.