Noël Le Graët apologises to Zinédine Zidane following “clumsy comments”

Speaking to AFPthe president of the French Football Federation (FFF) Noël Le Graët has apologised to Zinédine Zidane following his disrespectful comments about the France legend in an interview with RMC Sport last night. 

Following the extension of Didier Deschamps’ contract as France manager until 2026, Le Graët was questioned about the future of Zidane, who had long since been linked with taking the role after the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Qatar. His response attracted widespread criticism. “Zinédine Zidane to Brazil? I don’t give a toss. He can go wherever he wants, to a club or to a national team. I don’t really care. Did he try to ring me? Definitely not. I wouldn’t have even picked up the phone for him,” said Le Graët. 

Those comments sparked outrage, with Paris Saint-Germain and France forward Kylian Mbappé (24) coming to Zidane’s defence. “Zidane, he is France. You don’t show a lack of respect to a legend like that,” he posted on Twitter. 

France’s Minister for Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra later called for Le Graët to apologise for showing a lack of respect towards Zidane, who won the World Cup for France as a player. That apology has now arrived. In an interview with AFP, transcribed by RMC Sport, Le Graët said that his “clumsy comments have created a misunderstanding” and that he “gives his apologies” to Zidane. 

He added, “I want to give my apologies for those comments that absolutely don’t reflect my thoughts, nor my consideration for the player that he was and the manager he has become.” 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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