Noël Le Graët wishes to stay in the chair of the FFF

Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation (FFF) is running again for a fourth term.

AFP / Archives

Text by: Farid Achache Follow

5 mins

After three terms, Noël Le Graët is again a candidate for his own succession at the head of the French Football Federation.

He formalized his desire to remain at the helm of the FFF in a letter addressed to football families, this Thursday, January 21.


Read more

A decade at the head of the powerful French Football Federation, and Noël Le Graët, 79, still asks for more.

After having conquered cancer in the 2000s and leukemia, revealed in 2018, just before the coronation of the Blues in Russia, the leader is not tired and still wants to continue playing the captain of a powerful federation, which has more than three hundred employees.

After having widely consulted the players in French football in recent weeks and the members of the Executive Committee of the FFF this morning, I decided to ask for the renewal of your confidence, by presenting my candidacy for the presidency of our Federation 

", writes the leader, at the head of the body since 2011 and re-elected in 2012 and 2017.

However, during his re-election in 2017, he saw himself seeking a last term!

Frédéric Thiriez, former boss of the Professional Football League (LFP), and entrepreneur Michel Moulin, will be his two competitors.

President after Knysna

Much of the life of an entrepreneur in the seafood industry has revolved around the round ball.

He chaired En avant Guingamp from 1972 to 1991, a town of which he was also mayor (1995-2008), and made a comeback at the head of the club between 2002 and 2011.

During his first term, which he began a year after the 2010 World Cup fiasco in South Africa and the Knysna bus strike, he was responsible for restoring a positive image to French football.

In 2012, he appointed Didier Didier Deschamps at the head of the Blues.

Since then, France has become world champion again and the two men walk hand in hand.

 It's no secret, I really appreciate my president,


the coach under contract until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

recently declared in the




Both united in the sidelining of Karim Benzema from the Blues group after the start of the so-called sextape affair in 2015. “

 Look at what situation the FFF was in at the start of its presidency and what it is today,

explains Didier Deschamps to

Le Monde


Noël Le Graët knows how to decide when the situation demands it



During his last mandate, Noël Le Graët can boast of having succeeded in the Women's World Cup organized in France in 2019. But like many others, he was largely mistaken in calling it a " 

master stroke

 ". attribution, by the French Football League, of the televised rights of the championships of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 to the Sino-Spanish consortium Mediapro, which was to bring back a lot of money to the French clubs.

The operation has proved in recent months as the worst fiascos of French football.

The Iron Bars with Roxana Maracineanu

Noël Le Graët also faced criticism about this sentence: “ 

The racist phenomenon in sport, and in football in particular, does not exist or hardly exists


Or even this pass of arms between him and the Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu about homophobic chants in the stadiums.


I will not stop the matches, I am totally against it,

he declared on Franceinfo

, but I do not want to be held hostage by homophobia.


There are security services to ensure that these banners disappear.


But I would stop a match for racist cries

 " or for security reasons, he added.

In an interview with


, he said: “ 

To be clear, I think we stop too many games.

This pleases some ministers, but it bothers me.


One has the impression that, all of a sudden, all the stadiums have become homophobic places.

I vehemently challenge this image that is given of us. 


The position taken by Noël Le Graët by differentiating between homophobia and racism is erroneous 

", had for her part estimated Roxana Maracineanu in the National Assembly, denouncing " 

a lack of preparation on this subject



 He legitimately sued me


but yes, my role as public authority, my role as minister, is to ensure the protection of all our citizens 

", also indicated the former champion. of the swimming world.

The post-coronavirus worksite

Lately, Noël Le Graët had to play the service firefighters by advocating appeasement among the Blue, crossed by internal quarrels between the coach Corinne Deacon and several executives of the French women's team.

The FFF was also shaken by the revelations around the internal management of its staff, mainly around the management of Florence Hardouin.

Today, the coronavirus pandemic has had a lasting impact on French football with a drop in licensees and finances.

Which should give him headaches with this uncertain future for French football.

Despite everything, Noël Le Graët does not envisage a golden retirement and does not wish to leave the stage and hang up his crampons as president.


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Soccer

  • France