President of the French Football Federation in hot water over Zidane comments

The president of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, is currently said to be fighting for his job after his comments on French footballing legend Zinedine Zidane. Zidane was one of the main favourites to take over from Didier Deschamps if he was to step down from his job as manager of the French national team. However, Deschamps had his contract renewed after taking France to their second consecutive World Cup Final, winning the first against Croatia in 2018, but losing the second in Qatar against Lionel Messi’s Argentina. 

The controversy arose when Le Graet said he “would not pick up the phone if Zidane called him about the France job”, and when asked if Zidane would go on to manage Brazil instead of France, Le Graet said “I don’t give a damn, he can go wherever he wants”. These comments were not taken lightly by many, with Zidane being considered a French footballing icon, and a world class manager, having become the first manager to win 3 consecutive champions leagues in his time managing Spanish giants Real Madrid. French starlet Kylian Mbappe also weighed in on the situation via twitter, saying “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that”. 

Zidane’s most recent employers, Real Madrid, were very disappointed in Le Graet’s comments. Los Blancos released a club statement which read: “Real Madrid CF regrets the unfortunate statements made by the president of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, about Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest legends of world sport.” The statement went on to say: “Zinedine Zidane, world champion and European champion defending his country’s jersey, among many other titles, represents the values ​​of sport and has demonstrated this throughout his professional career as a player and as a coach.” They finished off the statement by stating that they would like Noel Le Graet to rescind and rectify the comments he made.


Le Graet has since come forward and offered his apologies for the statements he made, saying “I would like to present my personal apologies for these remarks which absolutely do not reflect my thoughts, nor my consideration for the player he was and the coach he has become, Zidane knows the immense esteem I have for him, like all French people.” Executive committee members of the French Football Federation have called for a meeting which could lead to Le Graet losing his job. Michel Platini is currently said to be the frontrunner for the job if Le Graet were to be fired. 

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