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What did he say about Zinedine Zidane? Noël Le Graët has been removed from the French football presidency

2023-01-11

Noël Le Graëtpeppered by various scandals and controversies, was “separated” from the presidency of the French Football Federation (FFF) by its extraordinary Executive Committee, which met this Wednesday in Paris.

SEE MORE: Everything Le Graet said about Zidane that made Mbappé angry

“NLG (Noël Le Graët) has been removed (…) Philippe Diallo will assume the interim period,” a member of that Executive Committee explained to AFP, who did not speak of resignation.

The time of the interim presidency of Philippe Diallo It must last “until the Comex (Executive Committee) that follows the publication of the audit report” on the operation of the FFF, which has been commissioned by the French Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castera.

The meeting of the Executive Committee (fourteen members, counting the president) began at around 11:00 a.m. local time (10:00 a.m. GMT) at the FFF headquarters in the Boulevard de Grenelle of Paris.

In the position since 2011 and top leader of French football when the ‘Bleus’ were world champions in 2018, Noël Le Graët (81 years old), who was also the socialist mayor of the city of guingamp (Brittany) between 1995 and 2008, had to deal with various current issues at the meeting.

Zidane in dialogue with Le Graet during the French star's footballing days.

The renewal of coach Didier Deschamps until 2026 was “unanimously validated”, according to the FFF. That agreement had been announced on Saturday.

– Zidane and the telephone –

Sunday caused quite a stir in France an intervention by Le Graët on the RMC radio station when talking about Zinedine Zidanewho for a time sounded like a possible selector of France if Deschamps left office.

Le Graët said that Zidane “would not have answered the phone” because his only option was to renew Deschamps. Zidane sounded for a long time as a candidate for the position.

Football player kylian mbappe and the minister Oudéa-Casteraamong many others, criticized the statements by Le Graët, who apologized on Monday for his “unfortunate words” about Zidane.

The testimony of the player’s agent sonia souidwho directly accused Le Graët of sexist behavior in order to try to have intimate relations with her, complicated the situation for the octogenarian leader.

The alleged sexist behaviors, especially towards former employees, are at the heart of the audit commissioned by the Ministry, whose conclusions are expected by the end of January, although there have already been some information leaks.

The France Inter station revealed that “several women” had “denounced (…) Noël Le Graët’s attitude against him”, which was confirmed to AFP by a source close to the matter.

In this explosive context, the spokesman for the French government, Olivier Véran, estimated that the FFF “deserves a president up to the task” and that “it allows French football to be given a good image in the world.”

After learning that Le Graët was removed from his position, Minister Oudéa-Castéra reacted in a statement to AFP: “I welcome the decision taken by the Comex of the FFF to meet without delay and act.”

In his opinion, removing Le Graët from the presidency is “a necessary stage given the elements already known about his attitude.”

Philippe Diallo, the person who will cover the functions on an interim basis, is 59 years old and has been working in football offices for decades, although he is unknown to the general public. He led for almost 30 years (from 1992 to 2021) the Union of Professional Soccer Clubs (UCPF), the employers’ union of professional clubs, and played an important role in the reforms of player transfers.

He is the son of a Senegalese boxer and entered the FFF as a member of the list of Noël Le Graët when he was re-elected in March 2021.

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