The statements of Noël Le Graët about Zinedine Zidane during the Bartoli Time program this Sunday on RMC provoked strong reactions. These are already agitating the international press, especially after Kylian Mbappé’s tackle against the president of the FFF.
Words that shock the world of football and even beyond. This Sunday, Noël Le Graët, the boss of the French Football Federation (FFF) asserted with authority on RMC his choice to extend Didier Deschamps. At the same time, the 81-year-old swept aside the hypothesis that led to Zinedine Zidane, causing a real outcry with his statements.
Asked about the rumors linking Zidane to the post of Brazil coach, Noël Le Graët said he had “nothing to shake”. “I wouldn’t even have taken him on the phone”, he also said of potential negotiations with “ZZ” after the World Cup after the final lost by the Blues: “I never met him and we never considered parting with Didier Deschamps”.
Mbappé takes a stand for Zidane
It was enough for Kylian Mbappé to break his silence: “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that.” Top scorer of the last World Cup and become the most emblematic player of the France team, the PSG striker takes a public stand against the president of the FFF.
For his part, Kylian Mbappé has already opposed his Federation in the past. But probably never so directly. In recent months, the 24-year-old had led the revolt in the case of the image rights of French players. After Euro 2021, he also expressed his frustration at not being defended by his Federation after racist insults pronounced against him after a missed shot on goal against Switzerland.
The French and international press did not fail to make its headlines with the statements of Le Graët and Mbappé. These are also part of a tense context with the conclusions of the audit around the FFF which should arrive at the beginning of February. Launched by the Ministry of Sports, this investigation after the recent scandals of the FFF, highlighting in particular the behavior of Noël Le Graët.
Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra did not fail to also criticize Noël Le Graët: “Statements again above ground with the added bonus this time of a shameful lack of respect, which hurts us all, to a legend of football and sport : a ‘president’ of the first sports federation of France should not say that, estimated the member of the government. Apologies for this word too much on Zinedine Zidane please.”
Several deputies from France Insoumise were the first to take to social networks to denounce Le Graët’s remarks: “What a shame that a leader of the FFF would make such remarks. French football deserves better than Mr. Le Graët “, reacted the elected François Piquemal. “Incredible lack of respect”, for his part wrote Carlos Martens Bilongo, also elected from the FI.
On Saturday, the FFF announced the extension of Didier Deschamps’ contract until 2026 for the next World Cup. The mandate of Noël Le Graët as President of the Federation ends in December 2024. However, it remains to be seen the conclusions of the audit and the turmoil caused by his last outing, which could change the situation.