Writing for Josimar, investigative journalist Romain Molina has revealed 40 years’ worth of alleged sexual abuse cover-ups, not only at the French FA, the FFF, but also within the LFP, which includes Ligue 1 clubs.
Last week, So Foot revealed inappropriate text messages sent from FFF president Noël Le Graët to female employees at the FFF. However, as Molina reveals, this is only the tip of the iceberg, and there is a long list of allegations of sexual abuse and harassment, some of which have been suppressed for 40 years.
According to Molina, there have been several cases of sexual abuse, blackmail and harassment towards underage players (boys and girls), that involve coaches, scouts, and agents, as well as senior officials working in the French top flight. He also accuses clubs such as PSG, Lyon and ESTAC Troyes of covering up allegations without taking action.
Thierry Rey, the sports adviser to former France president François Hollande, said that word of the allegations never reached him. He said, “They [FFF] never spoke to me, to us, about it. Neither did they speak to the sports minister. The gravity of the facts should have been taken seriously.”
Although word of sexual abuse seemingly never reached the ears of the government, an internal document admits cases of sexual abuse involving underage players taking place at the French national training facility, Clairefontaine, whilst some coaches who were removed from their posts following investigations, maintain their coaching licenses and continue to work with young players today.