(Photo by Noël Le Graët during a FIFA press conference in July 2019)
SPORTS – A “exchange time” with heavy files two months before the World Cup: Noël Le Graët is expected this Friday, September 16 at the Ministry of Sports, when the boss of the French Football Federation faces embarrassing information in the press his management and his attitude towards employees.
When the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra asked the 80-year-old leader and his general manager, Florence Hardouin, for a meeting that looked like a call, it was to discuss “various topics”, from the blaze of supporters to the transfer of energy while passing the next World Cup in Qatar (November 20-December 18). But maybe it’s also because the news needs it.
“I can’t get them tea, I can’t get them to tell them everything is fine. I accept them because I have to listen to what they tell me”said the minister in an interview published Thursday night on the Paris website.
A complaint filed against SoFoot
Last week, the management but also the personality of Breton was heavily criticized in an article in the monthly. SoFoot which evokes, on the strength of anonymous testimonies, Le Graët’s sending of SMS of a sexual nature to FFF employees.
The Federation reacted on Thursday, after its executive committee meeting, by announcing the filing of a complaint “in defamation against So Foot magazine for serious defamation” of the thing. “I’m not discounting anything that So Foot gave back”said for his part Amélie Oudéa-Castéra on Parisian.
No speech from the minister or the head of the FFF is expected after their interview on Friday, scheduled before 10:00 in the morning according to the ministerial agenda.
The case, if proven, thorn for “3F”restored by Le Graët after the nightmare of the Blues strike in Knysna at the 2010 World Cup, and crowned with a planetary coronation eight years later in Moscow.
“End the harassment, this scourge of French football”
According to the source interviewed by SoFootmany women have reportedly given up on their bodies in recent years because of how they feel “sexually harassed, but also morally”.
For its part, the union of professional players UNFP is sad “no action” of the Federation to combat harassment, “sexual or not”. He hopes Friday’s meeting will be held “The opportunity to end the harassment, this scourge of French football”.
Asked about the situation, Blues coach Didier Deschamps admitted on Thursday that the current climate in the FFF is not. “Not the most peaceful”. But he was also saddened by his so-called quest “buzz”.
“You know my relationship with the president, I talked to him for a long time yesterday (Wednesday). What do you want me to tell you? »he said in a press conference. “The president is good, he is doing well. »
Arrived in 2011 and re-elected in 2021 for a new mandate, Le Graët has for him to lead the explosion of the French men’s team, thanks to the faithful duo he formed with Deschamps, while encouraging -again in federal funding through a record contract with equipment supplier Nike.
Women’s practice is also improving, with an increasing number of licensees, despite the failures of Les Bleues in the 2019 World Cup at home (quarter-finals) and then in the Women’s Euro (half-finals) last summer.
“everyone likes me”
His detractors, for their part, evoke an authoritarian use of power, a lack of interest in amateur football, which he opposes, or even a management marred by conflicts around the divisive Florence Hardouin.
In terms of communication, “NLG” guilty of dangerous exit by minimizing the problem of homophobia in stadiums or racism in football, which “none or almost none” according to him. His statement that there are sexist overtones in the conflicts between the Bleues that “can pull their hair out” as long as you win, you wave too.
But the “Menhir”founding CEO of the Le Graët group (780 employees), which specializes in fishing, canned food and frozen foods, remains undaunted: recovered from lymphoid leukemia announced in 2018, he rejects the possibility to hand over the time of his term of office on Tuesday. .
“I have no intention of quitting. If my health stays strong, if I feel good, there is no reason for me to stop. I am very good at my job and everyone likes me. I’m lucky to be appreciated”he told the daily L’Equipe.
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