Decadence and casualness, the deleterious end of Noël Le Graët’s reign

Times are tough for monarchs. If Elizabeth II can finally rest in peace after eleven days of grandiloquent ceremonies, the FFF Kingdom of sovereign Noël Le Graët is mired in a storm at 10 on the Beaufort scale. Latest gust of wind, an attack by Kylian Mbappé on the ground of image rights, driven by an error of assessment by NLG. The latter had deemed it relevant to puff out his chest in the columns of The Teamby hammering Monday that the convention linking the FFF to the Blues, yet at the origin of a spring quarrel, will not “change before the World Cup”.

Annoyed, the Paris Saint-Germain striker responded by announcing the boycott of a marketing operation. The federation will retract in a press release laid in a hurry without formatting on Word, the kind of thing that stinks of panic, while Le Graët had to come back to Clairefontaine to put out the fire temporarily. The affair sounds like a disavowal for the latter: L’Equipe reveals on Wednesday morning that the highest authority in French football acted under pressure from the Ministry of Sports after negotiations between Amélie Oudéa-Castéra and Philippe Diallo, vice-president of the fed.

One more stone in Le Graët’s smudged garden, pinned in early September in an unflattering magazine survey So walk Where it is in particular a question of sexual harassment, gritty messages and other sufficiently heavy disturbing so that the 3F decides to attack the monthly for defamation.

Heaviness and casualness

In the constellation of people more or less close to the star, allies as opponents, we are perhaps not surprised by these accusations, which had also filtered through several media. “We’ve known it for years,” says a historical opponent in off, while a former close friend of Le Graët “has absolutely no doubt that such messages can come from him. “An opinion shared by several collaborators who have worked for the federation, even if some want to be more nuanced.

“As much as I have no doubt that he could have invited collaborators to dinner. It’s moved, it’s not in tune with the times and he would have done better to abstain. As much on one of the revealed texts, I’m quite amazed, I don’t see him doing such bullshit in writing. Christmas, if he uses four words per text that’s already the max, so a big fiery statement with salacious words…”

Instead of a wet-finger analysis, we prefer the audit carried out by the Ministry of Sports: as revealed by The Team, inspectors from the General Inspectorate for Education, Sport and Research (IGESR) were commissioned by Amélie Oudéa-Castéra to tap into the anthill. Or save time as the 2022 World Cup approaches, which could make you forget everything in the event of a parade on the Champs.

And this, even if AOC had very little taste in private of Le Graët’s je-m’en-fichisme at the announcement of the meeting at the ministry last Friday. A habit with the boss of 3F. “The federation and football in general, provided themselves above the law, mocks a connoisseur. You have to see with what lightness Noël Le Graët responded to the invitation of the Minister of Sports. »

Internal passivity in the face of multiple revelations

Basically, it is not so much the extension played by a ministry whose lack of courage we would almost understand, as the passivity of the internal organs of the FFF on revelations dating back several months, several years, which would raise the question. On the Norwegian media Josimar, the journalist Romain Molina protested against the passivity of the Federation on several cases of sexual assault, however, reported at the top of the pyramid. Two years ago, the same Romain Molina reported in the NY Times the deleterious climate (moral harassment, daily stress) at head office, revelations leading to an initial audit. Audit of which Le Graët was careful not to reveal the results to his Comex. On the case So Fooot, a wise observer of the affairs of the Federation points to the isolation of “the high authority of the foot, supposed to be the moral authority and the supervisory board of the executive of the federation”. Anyway, that was before Le Graet managed to marginalize her, she doesn’t do anything anymore. Besides the guys, when they get together, they have no agenda, no file, nothing. »

Undoubtedly one of the last vestiges of the time when NLG placed its pawns. Today, it is rather paying the consequences of its actions, starting with the full powers granted to its general manager Florence Hardouin, with whom relations are now stormy. This would manage almost everything while the president, weakened by leukemia just before the 2018 World Cup, would monitor affairs from afar from Brittany.

Le Graët against Hardouin, House of Cards

It has been told many times about the sometimes cruel gap felt between NLG and the rest of the tricolor delegation in Istra. The boss had thus found himself very married to note that no one had thought of reserving his place for him on the evening of the final victory against Croatia. Meanwhile, Florence Hardouin took the opportunity to get closer to Didier Deschamps and the group. Confidences of a bridge present in Russia. “The tipping point is around 2018. On the one hand, we have a sick president, a DG who takes over, which is not shocking. Except that she begins to develop her own actions with the France team and internal alliances to record her actions. As a result, it goes into a spin. Since then, Noël uses everything he finds to weaken him. A courtesy that Hardouin never failed to return to him. The same source reveals that she “publicly tells hateful things about NLG, in addition to succeeding in finding support within the Comex to annoy her. »

Yet hated by some of the directors of the Federation who split a letter of defiance at his expected end of 2019. Hardouin was able to turn to his advantage the resentment of some presidents of professional clubs towards the presidency after the Covid crisis, to the point of making it waver. Noël Le Graët is at the twilight of his reign, but he clings to the last branches: his sports record over the period 2016-2020 and his economic record.

“Thirst for power”, reason to live

Despite a social plan and a 2021 budget in deficit, the federation can rely on the golden contract with Nike which runs until 2026 (50 million euros annually). “If my health remains stable, if I’m fine,” he confided to The Team, there is absolutely no reason for me to stop. “A thirst for power that saddens his friends of yesterday, those who no longer see in him the man eager to restore the French foot according to Knysna but the one who seeks to keep his seat despite common sense. Within the federation, each of his guilty speeches gags. His outing on the racism that “does not exist in the foot” was thrown off balance to his loyal supporters. “The day he is no longer president of the federation, he dies the next day. It’s his life, he only holds on to that. “Has a thread, then.

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