Is this the end for Noël Le Graët? The 81-year-old French Football Federation (FFF) president is facing tremendous political pressure following his comments on French footballing icon, Zinedine Zidane. On Sunday, the FFF chief said to RMC he didn’t “give a toss“ about the former midfielder’s career plans following Didier Deschamps’ contract extension as the coach of Les Bleus until 2026. A call on the contract renewal was made by Le Graët alone, keeping the FFF executive committee (Comex) in the dark.
Despite an apology, the Breton is remains at the centre of a storm. On Monday evening, football agent Sonia Souid accused the FFF president of inappropriate advances and, today, Le Graët will be questioned for a second time as part of the audit commissioned by France’s Sports Minister, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, regarding the overall management of the FFF.
According to FranceInfo, several FFF executive committee members are trying to convince Le Graët to call an emergency meeting. Jean-Michel Aulas, Olympique Lyonnais president, and Philippe Diallo, FFF vice-president, are said to be the Comex members that wish to hear explanations from the 81-year-old regarding the secret four-year contract renewal for Deschamps, the angry remarks on Zidane and the allegations of Souid.
According to RMC, the backlash against Le Graët, whose mandate as FFF chief is due to end in 2024, is such that French president Emmanuel Macron has enquired about Michel Platini’s interest in his position.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval