Romain Molina’s reporting on alleged sexual abuse within the FFF and the LFP has revealed a culture of suppression of information and of inaction in the face of allegations.
Speaking anonymously, a former board member at the FFF said, “When something happens, you keep your mouth shut. That’s how it works. Otherwise, I’m done. They’re too powerful. The second you speak about the abuse, you’re out of the game.”
They continued, “It’s not only the FFF but also the LFP, the clubs. I mean, did you see how many cases we have been facing in the last couple of years? What did we do to protect our kids?”
Meanwhile, two former FFF employees also claim to have raised concerns about the federation’s handling of allegations, but Brigitte Henriques, who was a senior figure at the FFF at the time and now heads the French Olympic Committee, told them not to talk about it.
A victim of Angélique Roujas, a coach who still to this day has a coaching licence and continues to work with young players, detailed how her story fell on deaf ears. The former international, who wanted to remain anonymous said, “I was a victim at Clairefontaine – I know what happened and I know how hard it is to rebuild myself. Even today I don’t want to talk about it because it’s painful and I don’t know if I’ll be supported. I told some senior people inside the federation, including Brigitte Henriques, the vice-president at the time, but what happened? Nothing. They did nothing,” she said.
Adding to an increasing body of evidence were the words of another former director of the FFF, who said, “The FFF is like a hairdresser’s salon – everyone talks to everyone. They all know about the cases, but they get buried very quickly. It’s a policy of silence. They are like ostriches with their heads in the sand. If you talk, you’re out.”