Weakened on all sides, Noël Le Graët is on the defensive.
The president of the FFF, withdrawn from his duties as president of the FFF last week, is now the target of an investigation for moral and sexual harassment opened by the Paris prosecutor's office and entrusted to the Brigade for the repression of delinquency against the person (BRDP).
Noël Le Graët "denies all (the) accusations of moral or sexual harassment or any other criminal offences", in a press release to AFP in reaction to the opening of this investigation.
In this text transmitted by his lawyers, the 81-year-old leader is surprised to learn "through the press" the opening of an investigation for moral and sexual harassment and castigates the "numerous interferences and political pressures" that have come, according to him, of the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra within the framework of the audit carried out by the ministry.
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The boss of French football, in office since 2011, “denounces these repeated announcements by way of the press which intervene while the mission of the Inspection has not even made its provisional report yet”.
"In this administrative investigation, which is clearly incriminating, Mr. Le Graët had neither the opportunity to take cognizance of the elements concerning him, nor the opportunity to put forward his observations in defence, which is seriously prejudicial to the essential rights of the defense and to the elementary respect of the contradictory”, supports the press release.
Le Graët's lawyers denounce an attack on the presumption of innocence
The investigation opened on Monday follows the report for "sexist outrage" made, according to Le Monde, after the testimony of player agent Sonia Souid.
Ms. Souid's statements were collected by auditors from the General Inspectorate for Education, Sport and Research (IGESR) charged by the Ministry of Sports with clarifying the numerous dysfunctions in terms of management within the FFF.
“Bravo for your courage, our audit will be worthy of it.
See you very soon, ”Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra reacted on Twitter after a first testimony from the agent to the daily L’Equipe and RMC Sport.
For Le Graët's lawyers, "the independence of this administrative audit is seriously called into question in view of the numerous interferences and political pressures on the part of the Minister for Sports and recently by the Minister Delegate for Equality between women and men”.
The resignation of the leader of the FFF, currently in withdrawal, “would be an extremely positive signal sent to all the victims”, commented Minister Isabelle Lonvis-Rome, Monday on the Public Senate channel.
“These interventions do not respect the fundamental principles of the separation of powers or that of the presumption of innocence,” claim his lawyers.