Resignation from the FFF: Le Graët settles accounts with Oudéa-Castéra

After the resignation, the time is settling accounts

Resignation from the FFF: Le Graët settles accounts with Oudéa-Castéra

After the resignation, the time is settling accounts. Cornered, Noël Le Graët presented his resignation from the presidency of the French Football Federation (FFF), Tuesday, February 28. But he immediately counterattacked by accusing the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, of having "lied" on the accusations of sexual harassment against him.

Leaving after more than 11 years of reign tarnished by these accusations, the now ex-president of the FFF had his lawyer announce his intention to "sue for defamation [Amélie Oudéa-Castéra] before the Court of Justice of the Republic".

On Wednesday March 1, the Minister of Sports said on RTL that she had "never accused of harassment" Noël Le Graët. "I find it distressing, I never insulted anyone, I remained polite, I never accused him of harassment", she replied, recalling that a preliminary investigation had been opened for acts of moral and sexual harassment against the president of the FFF.

Always so unpredictable, the "Menhir" of French football, 81 years old, president of the League from 1991 to 2000 then of the FFF since 2011, has long persisted in remaining in office and has been slow to hand over, 13 days after the communication of a damning audit report for him, commissioned by the Ministry of Sports.

"The mission was the subject of numerous political interference, in particular from the Minister of Sports, who violated her obligation of impartiality", reacted Le Graët in an interview with the daily Le Monde, where he denounces an "incredible hype" and a "well-organized political-media cabal". His lawyer Thierry Marembert announced in parallel on France 5 that his client would request the "cancellation" of the audit report before the administrative court.

Inspectors from the General Inspectorate for Education, Sport and Research (IGESR) considered in this report that Le Graët "no longer has the legitimacy necessary to administer and represent French football", given including his "inappropriate behavior [...] towards women".

"NLG", targeted since mid-January by a preliminary investigation for moral and sexual harassment, was categorical with Le Monde on these accusations: "There is no complaint against me and I did not attack anyone. »

The FFF, targeted in the audit report for its policy to combat gender-based and sexual violence, also counterattacked, denouncing "a disproportionate denigration of the body" and regretting a "lack of real contradictory procedure".

"We did a thorough four-month work, respecting the adversarial nature of each of the parties [...]", replied Amélie Oudéa-Castéra. "I won't belittle the quality of the work that was done," she added. "It is the prosecutor who has decided sovereignly to open an investigation for acts of moral and sexual harassment" on the basis of this inspection report, she recalled.

The minister repeated on RTL what she had declared at a press conference: "The mission [d'inspection, NDLR] evokes remarks and text messages emanating from Noël Le Graët, ambiguous for some and clearly sexual for others".

"I never called him a stalker," she insisted. “This defense strategy does not fool many people […]”, she concluded.