The meeting of the Executive Committee (14 members, counting the president) began around 11:00 local time at the FFF headquarters on Boulevard de Grenelle in Paris.
In the position since 2011 and the top leader of French football when the ‘Bleus’ were world champions in 2018, Noël Le Graët (81 years old), who was also the socialist mayor of the city of Guingamp (Brittany) between 1995 and 2008, had to deal with various current issues at the meeting.
The renewal of coach Didier Deschamps until 2026 was “unanimously validated”, according to the FFF. That agreement had been announced on Saturday.
Zidane and the phone
On Sunday, an intervention by Le Graët on the radio station caused a stir in France. RMC when talking about Zinedine Zidanewho for some time was sounded like a possible France coach if Deschamps left office.
Le Graët said that Zidane “would not have answered the phone” because his only option was to renew Deschamps. Zidane sounded for a long time as a candidate for the position.
The soccer player Kylian Mbappé and the minister Oudéa-Castéra, among many others, criticized the statements of Le Graët, who apologized on Monday for his “unfortunate words” about Zidane.
The testimony of player agent Sonia Souid, who directly accused Le Graët of sexist behavior in order to try to have intimate relations with her, complicated the situation for the octogenarian leader.
The alleged sexist behaviors, especially towards former employees, are at the heart of the audit commissioned by the Ministrywhose conclusions are expected by the end of January, although there have already been some information leaks.
The France Inter station revealed that “several women” had “denounced (…) Noël Le Graët’s attitude against him”, which was confirmed to the AFP by a source close to the matter.
In this explosive context, the French government spokesman, Olivier Véran, estimated that the FFF “deserves a president up to the task” and that “it allows French football to be given a good image in the world.”
After learning that Le Graët was removed from his position, Minister Oudéa-Castéra reacted in a statement to AFP: “I welcome the decision taken by the Comex of the FFF to meet without delay and act.”
In his opinion, removing Le Graët from the presidency is “a necessary stage given the elements already known about his attitude.”
Philippe Diallo, the person who will cover the functions on an interim basis, is 59 years old and has been working in football offices for decades, although he is unknown to the general public. He led for almost 30 years (from 1992 to 2021) the Union of Professional Soccer Clubs (UCPF), the employers’ union of professional clubs, and played an important role in the reforms of player transfers.
He is the son of a Senegalese boxer and entered the FFF as a member of Noël Le Graët’s list when he was re-elected in March 2021.