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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Press Association & Beth Lindop

French football chief Noel Le Graet resigns amid sexual harassment investigation

French Football Federation (FFF) boss Noel Le Graet has resigned from his post following allegations of sexual and moral harassment.

The 81-year-old, who was appointed president of the FFF in 2011, sparked major controversy in January after it was revealed allegations of “sexual and moral harassment” were made against him by a female sports agent.

Days later, Le Graet was suspended amid allegations of improper conduct, with a subsequent report by the French Sport Ministry concluding he should not be reinstated because his "behavioural excesses are incompatible with the exercise of his functions".

Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera had also pushed for his resignation, claiming the longtime FFF chief "no longer has the legitimacy to administer and represent French football".

On Tuesday, the FFF announced Le Graet had resigned from his post, with the Paris prosecutor’s office confirming the 81-year-old is now also subject to another official probe which will be handled by a special police unit of the French Ministry of the Interior.

“An investigation (into Noel Le Graet) was opened yesterday on the basis of a report from the IGESR (General Inspection of Education, Sport and Research) on charges of sexual harassment and psychological harassment,” a spokesperson for the Paris public prosecutor’s office said in a statement to the PA news agency.

“The investigations were entrusted to the BRDP (La Brigade de repression du banditisme).”

France head coach Corinne Diacre is also reportedly on the bring of resigning after mutiny in the women's team ((Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images))

Le Graet has been replaced in an interim role at the French Football Federation by vice president Philippe Diallo.

The news is a further blot on the current landscape of French football, with women's national team manager Corinne Diacre reportedly poised to resign after three French players announced their decision to quit international football ahead of this summer's World Cup.

On Friday, captain Wendie Renard released a powerful statement claiming the current set-up was detrimental to her mental health. Within an hour of Renard's announcement, Paris Saint-Germain pair Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto also announced they no longer wished to play for France.

Diacre, who took over the team in 2017, has been criticised in the past for her abrasive management style, though the FFF appeared to side with the 48-year-old, asserting in a statement that "no individual is above the institution which is the French team."

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