French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët resigns

Embattled French Football Federation (FFF) president Noël Le Graët has resigned, the federation announced in a statement on Tuesday.

“Noël Le Graët announced today to the Executive Committee of the French Football Federation his decision to leave his position,” the FFF said in the statement.

It added: “The FFF would like to salute the remarkable sporting and economic results of Noël Le Graët.”

FFF vice president Philippe Diallo has been announced as the interim president until June 10, 2023, the date of the next federation meeting.

Le Graët has been president of the FFF since 2011 and his mandate was due to run until 2024.

Last month, the 81-year-old chose to step down from his role as president “until the completion of the audit performed by the sports ministry.”

According to Reuters, the audit said that Le Graët had displayed “inappropriate behaviour … towards women” and that he no longer had the “necessary legitimacy” to work in French sport.

Le Graët has denied any wrongdoing, Reuters reported. CNN has contacted his lawyers and the FFF for further comment.

Last month, Le Graët also drew the ire of players and politicians for comments about French legend Zinedine Zidane.

In an interview with radio station RMC in January, Le Graët said he “wouldn’t even have taken [a] call” from Zidane when asked whether the World Cup winner had called to express an interest in taking over as the men’s national team coach from Didier Deschamps.

He later apologized to Zidane for the remarks.

Le Graët has been credited with reviving the French team having been in charge of the FFF when Les Bleus won the World Cup in 2018 and lost in the final against Argentina last year.

But he also has a record of making controversial comments, saying in 2019 that he is “totally against” the interruption of football matches as a result of homophobic chants and banners.

“I would not stop the games. I do not want to be held hostage on homophobia. There are security services to ensure that these banners disappear,” Le Graët told radio station France Info at the time.

Arab Observer

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