Under-fire French Football Federation chief Noel Le Graet has called an extraordinary meeting of the organisation for Wednesday, sources told AFP, at which he is expected to offer an explanation for controversial comments about Zinedine Zidane which have led to a barrage of criticism and calls for him to resign.
The 81-year-old is also in the firing line as the FFF is being audited by the French government following accusations made against Le Graet late last year that he had mistreated employees at the Paris-based body.
On Sunday, Le Graet created a storm when he said he “wouldn’t even have taken his call” when asked whether France World Cup-winning legend Zidane had rung him to express an interest in taking over as coach from Didier Deschamps.
Deschamps, in charge since 2012, was out of contract after leading France to last month’s World Cup final in Qatar but last weekend signed a new deal to stay through to 2026.
Members of the FFF’s executive committee were unhappy at not being warned in advance of the new contract for Deschamps, with Zidane having long been seen as an ideal candidate to succeed his old France teammate.
Meanwhile on Tuesday Le Graet’s behaviour at the head of the federation again came under the spotlight with a female football agent making accusations of unwanted sexual advances by the veteran administrator in an interview with sports daily L’Equipe.
Le Graet has been president since 2011 and his current mandate runs until 2024.
He will not leave before then unless he decides to step down, or if he loses the support of his executive committee.
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