France FA President Noel Le Graet resigns Over Sexual Harassment

France FA President Noel Le Graet resigns Over Sexual Harassment

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By Agency Report

French Football Federation president Noel le Graet has resigned following a damning report into the organisation and accusations of sexual harassment. The 81-year-old stood down in January while the French government carried out an audit into the federation.

Le Graet, head of the FFF since 2011, had taken a step back amid a legal investigation into alleged sexual and moral harassment and a damning audit commissioned by the sports ministry.

ESPN reports that 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 behaviour of Mr Le Graet towards women.”

Le Graet has denied any wrongdoing.

“Noel Le Graet announced… to the Executive Committee of the French Football Federation his decision to step down from his position,” the FFF said in a statement.

“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 come under fire from players and politicians for criticising French World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane.

He was criticised for extending France coach Didier Deschamps’ contract until 2026, two years after his term at the head of the FFF expires.

However, sources have told ESPN that Le Graet has been chosen by FIFA president Gianni Infantino to run the governing body’s Paris office.

French football has been in turmoil recently, despite the national side reaching their fourth World Cup final in the past seven editions of the tournament, losing to Argentina in Qatar last December.

The French women’s team coach, Corinne Diacre, has also been 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 in French outlet RMC Sport, Renard said she will not play for the national side as long as Diacre is in charge.

Fellow internationals Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani also said they were taking a step back from the national team.

ESPN sources added Diacre’s fate as manager would be decided on March 9 by a select committee.

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