Game Over: French Football Federation President Noël le Graët’ resigns amid scandal and criticism

The French Football Federation announced the departure of Noël Le Graët in a statement on their website. Photo credit: FFF - Fédération Française de Football (via Facebook)

NOËL le Graët, the former President of the French Football Federation (FFF) President, has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment and an incriminating report into the federation.

The 81-year-old had initially stood down from his position in January as the French government conducted an audit into the FFF’s governance and conduct towards women, before the results of the report led to his departure on Tuesday, February 28.

The report, which was released earlier this month, concluded that Le Graët’s “behavioural excesses” were incompatible with his role and that he no longer had the legitimacy to represent French football. It also stated that he should not return to his position.

Le Graët, who had been President of the FFF for 11 years was supposed to remain in the position until 2024. He had recently become embroiled in another controversy after initially refusing to answer a call from Zinedine Zidane becoming a French national team coach, before apoligising for his “clumsy” comments.

Despite the accusations, several members of the FFF have said that Le Graët will continue his role with world governing body FIFA. In January 2022, he was appointed as delegate to FIFA President Gianni Infantino in FIFA’s Paris office.

The FFF recognized Le Graët ‘s “remarkable sporting and economic performance” in a statement announcing his resignation. While his departure marks the end of an era, it also signals a turning point for French football, which has been marred by controversy in recent years.

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