000 336V9R7

French football chief Noël Le Graët resigns amid sexual harassment probe

Issued on: Modified:

France’s longtime football boss Noël Le Graët resigned as head of the French Football Federation on Tuesday amid a legal investigation into alleged sexual and moral harassment and a damning audit commissioned by the sports ministry.

The 81-year-old was suspended as head of the French Football Federation (FFF) in January amid an investigation into allegations of sexual and moral harassment.

Earlier this month, a report by the French General Inspectorate of Education, Sport and Research said Le Graët should not return because his “behavioural excesses are incompatible with the exercise of his functions”.

Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera had also pushed for his resignation, saying the longtime FFF chief “no longer has the legitimacy to administer and represent French football”.

Le Graët, who had been in charge of the FFF since 2011, was already under pressure over dismissive remarks he made in December about Zinedine Zidane‘s potential interest in coaching the national team.

The remarks triggered a backlash from politicians and sports personalities including France’s star striker Kylian Mbappé, who criticised Le Graët over his “disrespect for the legend” Zidane. 

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)