Noël Le Gräet, Zidane and Mbappé: the sinking of too many

By showing no respect for Zinédine Zidane, national idol, in yet another lunar interview, Noël Le Graët caused a new earthquake in the world of French football. To the point of reacting Kylian Mbappé, with an almost unanimous hope among many followers that this innocuous outing in the midst of many cases will finally precipitate the fall of the boss of the FFF.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to cause an earthquake. A simple phone call from Noël Le Graët on Marion Bartoli’s personal phone during the former tennis player’s broadcast on RMC, in the midst of a debate on Didier Deschamps’ extension, was enough to trigger a storm on French football. . During an improvised lunar interview from start to finish, as usual with the boss of the FFF, he touched on the national idol. “Zidane in Brazil? I have nothing to shake, he can go where he wants! He can go to a big club in Europe… A selection, I hardly believe it as far as he is concerned” , he let go as we talk at the bistro. Before putting a layer to the question of whether he had exchanged with the former number 10, waiting to settle on the bench of the France team for several years: “If he tried to reach me?” Certainly not, I wouldn’t even have taken him on the phone. To tell him what? Hello sir, don’t worry, look for a club, I will agree with Didier? Make him a special program so that he finds a club or a selection. »

“Statements again above ground with the added bonus this time of a shameful lack of respect, which offends us all, to a legend of football and sport: a “president” of the first sports federation in France should not say that. Apologies for this too much word about Z.Zidane please. » Amélie Oudéa-Castera on Twitter


A giant and embarrassing festival, which reminded us that we could afford a lot of things in France, but certainly not to attack Zinedine Zidane. The first shock came from Kylian Mbappé, who came out of his vacation for a tweet addressed to Le Graët: “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that…” The beginning of trouble for the Breton leader, whom the Blues striker had already opposed last year on his lack of support after his missed shot on goal against Switzerland at the Euro ( “He considered that there had been no racism” ) or about the new convention of the rights to the image of the Blues. In the wheel of the top scorer of the last World Cup, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the Minister of Sports who has very fresh relations with NLG, judged his statements “again above ground with the added bonus this time of a shameful lack of respect, which offends us all, to a legend of football and sport: a “president” of the first sports federation in France should not say that. Apologies for this too much word about Z.Zidane please. » In the aftermath of the extension of DD until 2026, a divisive and debatable decision, Le Graët brought together almost all the players in French football (players, observers, supporters, amateurs) against him and around a desire common: putting an end to a masquerade that has already gone on for too long.

“It is not a designation or a passing of the baton, there will be an election. But we can help someone if we want. With Didier Deschamps, we looked at a few possible names to succeed me. I will watch closely. » Noël Le Graët on his succession at the head of the FFF

The culture of slippage and impunity

It is almost as comic as it is tragic to imagine that an exit on Zidane could hasten the fall of the president of the FFF a little more when we count the countless revelations, accusations and other blunders accumulated by the former mayor of Guingamp in recent years. . Le Graët, in office since June 2011 and re-elected for a fourth term in March 2021, should have given way for a while now, but at 81, he hangs on, again and again. “I will be there until Euro 2024” , he repeated on RMC. Worse than the childish remarks on Zidane, it is moreover those held on his succession which can scandalize. “My successor will be chosen fairly quickly, don’t worry, I’m not used to doing anything in footballasked NLG. It is not a designation or a passing of the baton, there will be an election. But we can help someone if we want. With Didier Deschamps, we looked at a few possible names to succeed me. I will watch closely. » Methods which do not correspond so much to the democratic process, and in which the coach should not take part in the exercise of his functions, since he has not ceased to strike for a decade that only the field interests him.

The culture of results has its limits, especially when the main problem is not the system or the beautiful game, but it comes from the very top and brings shame to French football. This umpteenth indecent interview given by Noël Le Graët, who concluded his intervention in Bartoli Time by a last malaise ( “Marion, you can call me whenever you want” ), comes in the context of a control audit within the FFF which has been going on for several weeks and whose conclusions are to be unveiled around mid-February. The boss of the national authority, who likes to act and speak with complete impunity, never seemed worried or worried. This Tuesday, NLG and Florence Hardouin, the general manager, must be heard as part of this audit on the management of the Federation. However, it will not be easy to kick the Breton out. The executive committee has this power, but it is still necessary to be able to use it. More than an investigation, salvation can come from the players, or rather from a player, Kylian Mbappé who, at 24, looks like the real boss of French football, both on the field and in his communication. In this fight, the striker leaves with a few steps ahead and unlimited popular support: Noël Le Graët, he has never scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final.

By Clement Gavard

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