Noël Le Graët has resigned from the presidency of the French Football Federation. Sources report this to the AFP and Reuters news agencies.
Le Graët, 81, made the decision in response to the findings of a commission of inquiry. Two weeks ago, this committee ruled that Le Graët’s behavior had sometimes gone off the rails and was incompatible with his position. “Especially through ambiguous text messages clearly tinged with sexuality for others,” judged the committee, which collected more than a hundred testimonies. The committee asked the national authorities to investigate further.
Le Graët had already been dismissed as president on January 11. The reason for this was, among other things, insulting statements towards French football icon Zinedine Zidane. Le Graët denied any allegations. His fourth term as president would expire in 2024.
Start at FIFA
The Frenchman will work at FIFA, according to French Football Federation officials. In recent years, Le Graët, unlike many other administrators, has always supported FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “He is appointed because of his skills, expertise and experience,” said Eric Borghini, one of the officials.
Le Graët admitted the charges. “I have never harassed anyone, whether morally or sexually,” Le Graët told sports newspaper L’Équipe. “I will dispute the report of the Ministry of Sports. My lawyers will do so through all legal channels available to them. »
The president of the Canadian federation also leaves
Nick Bontis is no longer president of the Canadian Football Association. The 53-year-old driver is leaving after persistent criticism.
Players on Canada’s National Women’s Team have long been dissatisfied due to budget cuts, back payments and unequal treatment compared to the Men’s National Team. In the SheBelieves Cup, the Olympic champion recently competed under protest, captain Christine Sinclair said.
During the match against the United States, the players wore purple shirts with the text “that’s enough” while playing the national anthems.
The men’s team was also not satisfied with the policy of Bontis and the Canadian federation. Six months before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, the team failed to show up for an exhibition game against Panama. Football players demand more professionalism and want higher bonuses.
“I recognize that change is needed,” Bontis said in a statement. He himself says he is very much in favor of equalizing the conditions for women players compared to men. “Unfortunately, I will no longer lead the association if that happens.”
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