FFF: Le Graët no longer has "the legitimacy" to manage French football, according to the audit mission

The president of the FFF Noël Le Graët on June 28, 2021 in Bucharest, before the France-Switzerland match at the Euro © FRANCK FIFE / AFP / Archives

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Paris (AFP) – President Noël Le Graët "no longer has the necessary legitimacy to administer" the French Football Federation (FFF) taking into account in particular "his behavior towards women", points out the provisional report of the mission of audit on the FFF, of which AFP obtained a copy on Monday.


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This interim report from the General Inspectorate for Education, Sport and Research (IGESR), commissioned by the Ministry of Sports last fall, also notes that the authority's policy on gender-based violence and sexual relations is "neither effective nor efficient".

The leaders of the FFF have until February 13 to take note of these conclusions and respond to them, before publication of the final and contradictory report.

"The mission considers that, given his behavior towards women, his public statements and the failures of the governance of the FFF, Mr. Le Graët no longer has the necessary legitimacy to administer and represent French football", perhaps we read.

Withdrawn since January 11, and targeted by an investigation for moral and sexual harassment, Noël Le Graët (81) is not spared by this preliminary report.

His attitude towards women “can at least be described as sexist”, say the inspectors.

The mission also collected testimonies relating to the actions of the Breton leader “likely to receive a criminal qualification”

Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, on January 9, 2023 in Paris, commissioned the FFF audit mission © Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP/Archives

The inspectors, who on January 13 made a report to the public prosecutor of Paris, indicated that they would transmit additional information to justice.

It is on the basis of this report that the Paris prosecutor's office opened an investigation in mid-January.

"clan logic", "self-centered vision"

Laid off as a precautionary measure on January 11, the director general of the FFF, Florence Hardouin, is also targeted by the IGESR inspectors for her management which, they write, "can be described as brutal", but not "harassing".

His relations with Le Graët are described as "toxic": "The chairman-director general couple has reached its limits", believe the auditors of the IGESR, evoking "clan logic" of management and a "very self-centered vision of the power ".

The mission, which proposes 18 recommendations to the FFF, also pinpoints the body's policy in terms of preventing and combating gender-based and sexual violence, which "is not a priority deployed rationally by the FFF in the territories" , according to her.

French Football Federation President Noël Le Graët and General Manager Florence Hardouin, in Paris, December 12, 2015 © FRANCK FIFE / AFP/Archives

Severely shaken for five months by journalistic investigations, testimonies from women accusing him of sexist and inappropriate behavior, or by his own sweeping statements about Zinédine Zidane, Noël Le Graët is going through the most delicate period of his mandate. started in 2011.

The FFF “will not communicate its own conclusions and decisions after the delivery of the final audit commissioned by the Ministry of Sports” reacted the body in a press release.


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