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Noel Le Graet resigns as French football federation president

Noel Le Graet resigns as French football federation president

Vice-president Philippe Diallo will act as interim until June 10, when the next federal assembly takes place

Noel Le Graet has resigned as president of the French football federation.

His decision to step down comes after an audit was commissioned by the country’s sports ministry last September in response to a magazine article which alleged Le Graet harassed several of the federation’s female employees.

The FFF confirmed the 81-year-old Le Graet, who has denied all allegations of wrongdoing, had quit his post in a release published on Tuesday morning. Vice-president Philippe Diallo will act as interim until June 10, when the next federal assembly takes place, the FFF said.

Le Graet had been suspended since January. It has been reported that the audit, by France’s General Inspectorate of Education, Sport and Research, concluded he should not return because his behaviour was “incompatible” with his function as president.

He has also faced criticism for comments he made about Zinedine Zidane. Le Graet was last month asked whether he had considered the former France star as a successor to Les Bleus head coach Didier Deschamps, but told French television channel RMC Sports he would not even have taken Zidane’s call. Le Graet later issued an apology.

Following the audit’s publication, sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera was quoted in the French media as saying: “Given the failures in governance, his seriously inappropriate behaviour towards women, I can only agree with the conclusion of the report: he no longer has the legitimacy to administer and represent French soccer.”

In its statement on Tuesday, the FFF saluted “the remarkable sporting and economic results” of Le Graet.

“Since June 18, 2011, the date of his election, the men’s and women’s teams have won 11 titles and played in six international tournament finals,” the statement read.

The statement also highlighted developments in the women’s game under Le Graet, pointing out there were 90,000 registered players in 2011-12 when he was first elected, compared to 206,000 today.

Le Graet remains a UEFA member of the FIFA Council. The European football governing body said in January Le Graet was standing for re-election to the FIFA Council at UEFA Congress in April, against Portuguese federation president Fernando Gomes.

Le Graet was also appointed as FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s delegate to the world governing body’s Paris office in January last year.

FIFA has declined to comment regarding Le Graet’s status in that role.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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