Sports

French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet Faces Sexual Harassment Probe

Noel Le Graet, the head of the French Football Federation, is now the subject of a sexual harassment investigation, prosecutors said AFP on Tuesday.

A few weeks after France’s defeat to Argentina in the World Cup final, the investigation was started on Monday as a result of claims made against Le Graet by sports agent Sonia Souid.

“He very clearly said to me in his apartment that if I wanted him to help me, I had to let him have his way with me,” said Souid, who gave interviews to sports daily L’Equipe and radio station RMC.

Le Graet, 81, has served as the FFF’s president since 2011, but he was compelled to resign last week while the French Sports Ministry conducted an assessment of the organization.

After making what he later called “clumsy statements” concerning Zinedine Zidane’s probable interest in leading the French national team, he had received demands for his resignation.

When asked if France legend and World Cup winner Zidane had called him to show interest in succeeding Didier Deschamps as coach, Le Graet said in an interview with RMC last week that he “wouldn’t even have answered his call.”

Deschamps just agreed a new deal to remain as France coach until 2026. Deschamps guided France to World Cup victory in 2018 and managed their march to last month’s final, which they lost to Argentina on penalties.

Le Graet, whose term ends in 2024, has been temporarily replaced by Philippe Diallo, the organization’s vice-president.

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