According to Le Monde, inspectors who are carrying out the government’s audit into the French Football Federation and its president, plan to hand over information to public prosecutors on findings which they deem to be criminally reprehensible. These are specifically following the testimony of agent Sonia Souid about a series of messages, calls, and dinner invitations received from president Noël Le Graët.
Justice could be called to intervene on Le Graët under a law against “gender or sexist contempt” – which is defined by the French government as “the imposition of a sexual or sexist connotation or behavior upon a person that violates his or her dignity or exposes him or her to a distressing situation”.
Le Graët stepped back from his role as president of the French Football Federation following an executive committee meeting which deliberated over forcibly withdrawing the 81-year old as president. He was the subject of controversy after comments widely considered as distasteful towards former World Cup winner Zinédine Zidane, stating he “does not give a toss” if the ex-Real Madrid manager took the Brazil national team job, and wouldn’t answer the phone if he called.
This led to backlash and condemnation from the world of French football and beyond, starting with a message of defiance from French star Kylian Mbappé, who called the president’s comments “disrespectful”. Minister for Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, already in a public war of words with Le Graët over the audit, called on him to apologise.
GFFN | George Boxall