France icon Zidane shot: La Liga president Le Graet resigns

Updated on 01/11/2023 16:07

  • The president of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graet, has resigned.
  • Public pressure has increased on the 81-year-old in recent days after he spoke disparagingly of former French star Zinedine Zidane in an interview.

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After his controversial remarks about From France – Regarding France Football icon Zinedine Zidane has resigned from his position as president of the federation, Noel Le Graet. This was announced by the FFF National Federation after an Extraordinary Executive Committee hearing on Wednesday in Paris.

The federation said in a statement that Lou Graet “decided, in agreement with the FIFA Executive Committee, to step down from his position as president until the completion of the review conducted by the Ministry of Sports.” Government spokesman Olivier Ferran had earlier criticized the 81-year-old.

Veran said on Wednesday that the French Football Federation “deserves a president up to the task”. It’s not just the derogatory comments about Zidane that are problematic. “There are other things coming. The camel’s back,” Ferran said. The French Football Federation needs “a president who will make it possible to give French football a good image around the world.”

If I were angry about Zidane: “I would not have answered the phone.”

In a radio interview last Sunday, France’s chief football official made disparaging remarks about Zidane and his potential future as coach of the world’s runners-up. In the interview he claimed before extending the contract with the national coach Didier Deschamps Not interested in talking to Zidane on the phone.

When asked if Zidane had called him to express interest in Deschamps’ job, Le Grat replied: “I wouldn’t have answered the phone. What should I have told him?” Hello sir, don’t worry, see “You’re another club. I just agreed a contract with Didier.”

Deschamps (54) had been away for nearly three weeks after Saturday Final defeat in the Qatar World Cup against Argentina (2: 4 on penalties) He extended his contract until 2026. Zidane was considered a possible successor. The 1998 world champion has been without a job since leaving Real Madrid in the summer of 2021.

Criticism of Lou Graet for his statements about Zidane

Le Graët apologized for the comments on Monday. He regrets his “embarrassing remarks” which led to “misunderstandings”. He wanted to personally apologize to Zidane. Le Graet said in a statement to Agence France-Presse that his statements “do not at all reflect my thoughts and appreciation for the player he was and the coach he has become.”

Previously, he had to be subjected to some sharp criticisms. Superstar Kylian Mbappe tweeted: “Zidane is France, and we don’t treat this legend with disrespect,” he wrote on Twitter.

Longtime Bayern professional Franck Ribéry suggested Le Graet see a doctor, and even Sports Minister Amelie Odea Castera stepped in and demanded an apology from France’s top football officials.

Le Graet has been president of the FFF since 2011. His third and final full term was not supposed to end until December 2024. Allegations of sexual harassment, which are the subject of an investigation launched by the Minister for Sports, have added to the difficulty of Le Graet’s situation. (SID/dpa/lh)

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