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FFF: So Foot, audit, Zidane ... The five months that precipitated the fall of President Le Graët


From the revelations of So Foot to his resignation, via discourteous remarks towards Zinédine Zidane: a look back at five months of turbulence and crisis which culminated in the fall of Noël Le Graët.

So Foot shakes the "Prez"

The revelations of

So Foot

magazine are the trigger for the troubles of the boss of the FFF.

In an investigation entitled “

My Fed will crack

”, published on September 8, 2022, the monthly publishes three extracts from undated and sexual SMS, supposedly sent by the Breton leader, which would have been addressed to current or past collaborators of the Federation.


So Foot

article more generally pinpoints the management but also the personality of the person who is internally called the “


” (the president), who had been in office since 2011, and the conflicts around the divisive general manager Florence Hardouin.

Noel Le Graët fiercely denies sending these SMS and does not feel threatened, the excitement is general and the consequences disastrous for the image of the FFF, which is filing a defamation complaint against So Foot.

Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castera triggered hostilities by inviting "


" to a "

moment of exchange

" on September 16.

The ministry launches an audit

Following the interview between Noël Le Graët and Amélie Oudéa-Castera, the Ministry of Sports launched an audit and control mission within the FFF entrusted to the General Inspectorate for Education, Sport and of research (IGERS).

Meanwhile, tongues are starting to loosen since

Radio France

broadcast new testimonies from former FFF employees on October 12 evoking "


" behavior by Le Graët, which the latter "

firmly disputes

", denouncing allegations "

false and malicious


Read alsoNoël Le Graët and his comments on Zinédine Zidane: the slippage too much?

The remarks towards Zidane, the slippage too much

The World Cup in Qatar is an enchanting parenthesis for Le Graët and the Federation, who think they will take advantage of the remarkable journey of the French team to the final to ward off the big clouds that hover over the institution.

Coach Didier Deschamps is thus extended on January 7 until the 2026 World Cup. But the next day, a short sentence from the boss of the FFF will have the effect of a bomb.

Already accustomed to controversial remarks concerning homophobia or racism, Le Graët dares this time to attack head-on Zinedine Zidane, the icon of French football and sport.

Asked by


to find out if the ex-Real Madrid coach, who acted as the No. 1 option at the head of the Blues in the event of non-renewal of Deschamps' contract, had called him, Le Graët lets go completely and is brittle.


I wouldn't even have taken it on the phone

," he said.


I have nothing to shake, he can go where he wants,

" he adds in reference to proposals received by Zidane, currently without a club.

NLG, however little adept of mea culpa, is obliged to apologize the next day.

But this exit still made a good part of the political class jump, which demanded his departure.

Amélie Oudéa-Castera, who has become one of her main critical voices over the weeks, calls on the FFF's executive committee on January 9 to "

take responsibility

", noting "

a bankruptcy in the function of representation

" of the part of the "



Read alsoAfter his resignation from the FFF, Le Graët will lead the Paris office of Fifa

Le Graët set back

On January 11, the "Comex" of the FFF decides on the withdrawal, until the delivery of the audit, of the president, replaced on an interim basis by Philippe Diallo, and lays off Florence Hardouin.

An investigation is then opened on January 16 by the Paris prosecutor's office for moral and sexual harassment targeting Noël Le Graët following a report made after the testimony of Sonia Souid, agent of several French internationals, collected by the auditors of the IGESR.

Le Graët denies in a press release sent to AFP "

all (the) accusations of moral or sexual harassment or any other criminal offenses


A damning report and an inevitable departure

The report of the audit mission on the FFF, submitted on February 15, does not spare the Breton.

He points to the “

excesses of behavior

” of the president of the FFF, “

incompatible with the exercise of his functions and the requirement of exemplarity which is attached to him.

“As a result, the leader”

no longer has the necessary legitimacy to administer and represent French football


On February 28, Le Graët announced his resignation and was replaced until June by the vice-president of the FFF Philippe Diallo.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-02-28

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