Julian LawrenceCorresponding10:50 GMT2 minute read
Noel Le Graet has resigned as president of the French Football Federation (FFF) amid misconduct including sexual harassment and a damning audit, the federation announced on Tuesday.
Le Graet, at the head of the FFF since 2011, had taken a step back in the middle of a judicial investigation for alleged sexual and moral harassment and a damning audit carried out by the Ministry of Sports.
– The Le Graet investigation plunges French football into chaos
Earlier this month, the audit concluded that Le Graet, 81, no longer had “the necessary legitimacy” to administer and represent the sport in France and “highlighted the inappropriate behavior of Mr Le Graet towards the women”.
Le Graet denied any wrongdoing.
“Noël Le Graët announced (…) to the executive committee of the French Football Federation his decision to leave his functions”, indicated the FFF in a press release.
“Philippe Diallo, vice-president, will act as interim president of the FFF until June 10, 2023, the date of the next federal assembly.”
Le Graet had also been criticized by players and politicians for criticizing France’s World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane.
He has been criticized for extending the contract of French coach Didier Deschamps until 2026, two years after his tenure as head of the FFF expired.
However, sources have told ESPN that Le Graet has been chosen by FIFA President Gianni Infantino to lead the governing body’s Paris office.
French football has been in turmoil recently, although the national team have reached their fourth World Cup final in the last seven editions of the tournament, losing to Argentina in Qatar last December.
France women’s coach Corinne Deacon has also come under fire after captain Wendie Renard said last week she would not play at this year’s Women’s World Cup.
According to a report by French outlet RMC Sport, Renard said she won’t play for the national team as long as Deacon is in charge.
Fellow internationals Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani have also said they are taking a step back from the national team.
ESPN sources added that Deacon’s fate as manager would be decided on March 9 by a select committee.
Information from Reuters has been included in this report.
. president French Christmas Graet resign after scandal